Manchester Thunder and Loughborough Lightning make Netball Super League Grand Final

[Photo credit: Eva Gilbert]

Manchester Thunder and Loughborough Lightning will go head-to-head to be crowned 2024 Netball Super League champions on Saturday 29 June at Resorts World Arena, Birmingham.

Thunder booked their place in the Grand Final by overcoming Severn Stars 63-54 while defending champions Lightning came out on top 59-47 against London Pulse in a repeat of last year’s showpiece.

A record-breaking crowed, which there’s still time to be part of, will be courtside for all the action as Karen Greig’s side target a record-equalling fifth title while Vic Burgess’ team bid to become just the fourth team to lift the trophy in back-to-back seasons.

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Stars and Pulse will be aiming to end their seasons with a bronze medal as they face off in the third place play-off with all the day’s action live on Sky Sports Arena and YouTube (UK viewers) and NetballPass (international viewers) from 13:30.

After a regular season with plenty of surprise results and nail-biting games, all four sides gave their all in the semi-finals.

In Manchester, Thunder boss Greig hailed her side’s dogged determination and believed their intensity was the key in a tough semi-final battle.

The hosts started at a blistering pace, setting the bar high through Lois Pearson and Paige Reed who linked up perfectly to open a gap in the first quarter.

Four-time champions Thunder continued their momentum for much of the first half but maiden semi-finalists Stars fought back after half-time and reduced the deficit to just three in an electric third quarter.

Thunder clinched victory with a superb final quarter as reinforcements proved the difference in an end-to-end affair.

Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match Imogen Allison backed up her stunning form at pivotal moments, yet again proving to be an unstoppable playmaker force.

 

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Greig said: “Semi-finals day is always the toughest one and credit to Jo [Trip] and Stars, they came out and played a great game, they really brought it to us and they should be really proud of what they’ve achieved.

“These girls want it, I hedge no bets on that but they’ve got to get out there and show how much they want it.”

Over in Loughborough, Burgess lauded Lightning’s relentless nature as they secured their place in a fourth consecutive Grand Final with Beth Cobden named Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match.

There was little to choose between the sides in a tetchy first quarter, with both teams looking for a foothold in the contest.

Pulse had beaten Lightning twice in the regular season, but the hosts made sure third time was the charm as they carved out a crucial lead across the second and third quarters to earn victory.

And although Pulse put up their highest-scoring quarter of 16 goals in the final quarter, it was not enough to produce a famous comeback as Lightning saw out the game and booked their place in the final.

“Everybody’s intent was absolutely awesome,” Burgess said. “Their work-rate on the court, every minute mattered and they did a really good job of executing that.

“We kept shouting from the sideline, ‘no resting, there’s no rest, you’ve got to keep going’, and that was the difference really.

“We do talk about winning when it matters and you’ve certainly seen that today. It’s the belief and want to do it.”

Don’t miss out on the season finale and get your tickets for the Grand Final here.

To keep up with the latest news, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, Netball Super League on Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe to the newsletter.

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