VNSL Round 14 wrap: Stars snap drought
IT has been a long time coming but the Severn Stars won their first game since Round 1 of the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) 2022 season. Since defeating Surrey Storm on that day, the Stars suffered 11 consecutive losses, but yesterday they finally came out on top, defeating Wasps Netball by nine goals in an upset. It was not the only upset however, with Leeds Rhinos also taking out Team Bath by 10 goals in the opening game of the five-match day at Resorts World Arena.
Leeds Rhinos have enjoyed an upset win over Team Bath to bounce back from their shock defeat at Celtic Dragons the day before. Whilst the teams were even in the second quarter, the Rhinos won the remaining three quarters to come away with the 10-goal win, 64-54.
Rhinos defender Rebekah Airey took out the Player of the Match award for her five intercepts, two deflections, one intercept and six turnovers. She worked well with Vicki Oyesola (four intercepts, two rebounds and six turnovers). Up the other end Sigrid Burger put up 49 goals from 52 attempts, whilst Brie Tyler Grierson scored 15 goals from 20 attempts and had 20 feeds. Layla Guscoth (seven deflections, five intercepts, one rebound and eight turnovers) was sensational for the losing side, with captain Imogen Allison (six intercepts, six turnovers) working hard in midcourt.
Team Bath hosts Severn Stars next Saturday for Round 15, whilst Leeds Rhinos travel to face Wasps Netball on Sunday.
Loughborough Lightning survived a scare against Celtic Dragons, winning by a marginal four goals in the second game of the day. The second placed team got out to an early lead by five goals at quarter time, but that soon evaporated a little through the Dragons winning the second and third terms to cut the deficit to just two. The reigning premiers stepped back up in the last quarter, scoring 15-13 to run out 56-52 victors.
Ella Clark was sensational in the absence of Mary Cholhok again, shooting 33 goals at 85 per cent accuracy. She also pulled down five rebounds and had two deflections. Hannah Joseph was busy in midcourt with 29 feeds, one intercept, three deflections and two turnovers, whilst Roses defenders, Beth Cobden and Fran Williams was important in the back third. Georgia Rowe and Lefébre Rademan both scored 26 goals in the losing side, whilst Shona O’Dwyer picked up a team-high 15 feeds, as well as a deflection in the loss.
Loughborough Lightning clashes with Strathclyde Sirens on Saturday, whilst Celtic Dragons welcome London Pulse to Wales.
It was raining goals for ladder leaders Manchester Thunder when they easily came away with a 30-goal win over Surrey Storm. The Thunder only lead by four goals at quarter time after a relatively low-scoring first term, but then put up 66 goals in the last three quarters, to win each term by at least six goals, and up to 13 for the third term, to secure the massive 80-50 victory.
Natalie Metcalf was the key orchestrator behind the success, feeding the ball to the shooters 37 times, and also having an intercept and a turnover, then shooting three goals from four attempts when rotating into goal attack. Eleanor Cardwell (47 goals from 53 attempts) and Joyce Mvula (30 from 30) did all the damage on the scoreboard, whilst Shadine Van der Merwe (three deflections, two intercepts and three turnovers) was strong in defence. Peace Proscovia put up 42 goals from 47 attempts for the losers, whilst Yasmin Parsons and Mikki Austin both had a team-high 17 feeds.
Manchester Thunder take on Wasps Netball next Saturday, whilst Surrey Storm have the bye in Round 15.
London Pulse have gained some breathing space in third spot on the VNSL table, defeating Saracens Mavericks by seven goals in the penultimate match of the day’s play. The fourth placed Mavericks actually lead by a goal at half-time, but could not sustain the lead, as the Pulse piled on 27 goals to 19 in the second half to pick up the 53-46 victory.
Alicia Scholes was fantastic in stepping up at wing defence, recording 16 feeds, as well as two intercepts and two turnovers in the match to win Player of the Match. Olivia Tchine (47 goals from 50 attempts and three rebounds) and Sacha McDonald (six goals from eight attempts, two deflections, one intercept and two turnovers) were both strong. Jodie Gibson and Razia Quashie both amassed three deflections, one intercept and three turnovers for the Mavericks, whilst Britney Clarke scored 30 goals from 34 attempts.
London Pulse take on Celtic Dragons on the road next Monday, April 25, whilst Saracens Mavericks have the bye.
The day of play saved the best for last in terms of storylines, with Severn Stars finally breaking their 11-game losing streak with a victory over Wasps Netball by nine goals. The Stars won the first two quarters to lead by five goals at half-time, and though the teams were even in the third term, the Stars picked up again in the last, scoring 16-12 to win, 56-47.
Bethan Dyke won Player of the Match for her work in centre to pick up 24 feeds, two intercepts and two turnovers for the Stars. Cathrine Tuivaiti (25 goals from 26 attempts) and Paige Reed (21 from 25) were strong in the shooting circle, whilst Lucy Herdman and Summer Artman combined four eight intercepts, six deflections and 11 turnovers. Rachel Dunn (18 goals from 20 attempts, two rebounds, two deflections and one intercept) and Gezelle Allison (23 goals from 29 attempts) tried valiantly in a losing effort, whilst Lauren Nicholls was a standout for the Wasps with nine feeds, three deflections, two intercepts and two turnovers.
Severn Stars next take on Team Bath on Saturday, whilst Wasps Netball host Manchester Thunder later that day.