Round 16 of the Vitality Netball Superleague season saw narrow margins, long awaited fixtures and several rescheduled matches take place.
The eighth round of the ANZ saw a high scoring encounter at the ILT Stadium Southland, and the seventh round of the SSN season saw Jo Harten shoot accurately to secure a Giants victory.
Here’s how the Vitality Roses performed in the latest round of all competitions…
VNSL Round 16
In their rearranged matchup, Loughborough Lightning secured a 71-56 win away against Leeds Rhinos.
The fixture saw the return of Lightning and Roses staple Nat Panagarry, who entered the court for the second half of the matchup. Panagarry had been missing from the Loughborough side since sustaining and injury in round 11, her return helped to bolster an already strong midcourt threat in the Lightning side.
Jade Clarke’s Leeds Rhinos fought to the final seconds, but the pinpoint accuracy of Lightning’s Ella Clark in front of goal meant that victory was out of reach for the Leeds side, Clark scored 58 goals with a 92% success rate and earned herself player of the match.
In another rearranged meeting, Team Bath Netball and Saracens Mavericks took it to the wire in an end-to-end bout that saw the Bath side take a one-goal victory in the dying minutes of the game.
The fixture was closely contested from the first centre pass, Team Bath captain Imogen Allison displayed her playmaking ability, she fired 15 feeds into the circle and earned a couple of key interceptions.
Mavericks’ goal keeper Razia Quashie made life difficult for Team Bath, minimising their attempts at goal with great positioning and some vital fingertip deflections.
With 30 seconds left on the clock and the score levelled 49-49, Team Bath sealed the deal, in the form of a feed from Sophie Drakeford-Lewis into the hands of attacking partner Kim Borger who put the shot away well to secure the win (50-49).
London Pulse came out on top in their fixture against Severn Stars, ending the match with a 15 goal advantage (38-53).
Pulse’s Olivia Tchine was in fine form, she scored 30 goals to contribute to her side’s success.
Manchester Thunder secured another victory in their fixture against Team Bath Netball.
Thunder captain Laura Malcolm displayed her all-round ability, proving herself a threat both in attack and defence, she forced four turnovers and provided six feeds into the circle.
At the end of the fourth quarter the score read 66-45 in Thunders favour.
Loughborough Lightning secured a spot in the top four after their 51-59 win against Saracens Mavericks.
Lightning’s Fran Williams made a sizeable impression on the match with four key turnovers helping to keep Mavericks at bay.
ANZ Round Eight
George Fisher’s side Southern Steel suffered defeat at the hands of Tactix.
Despite Fisher scoring 33 goals, Tactix were able to edge the score in their favour, ending the match 52-63.
SSN Round Seven
Eboni Usoro-Brown’s Queensland Firebirds secured victory over NSW Swifts, both teams began strongly and went goal for goal in the first quarter, but Firebirds found their rhythm and enjoyed a high-scoring second and third quarter which helped them sail to victory, ending the match 73-60.
Stacey Francis-Bayman’s West Coast Fever added another win to their record after running out a nine-goal lead at the end of a high intensity matchup against Adelaide Thunderbirds (51-60).
Giants Netball came out with a well-earned victory after netting over 80 goals against Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Jo Harten scored 38 to contribute to her sides 54-82 win.
Geva Mentor’s Collingwood Magpies came out on top in their matchup against Melbourne Vixens, after four intense quarters, Magpies led 60-70.
Tickets for the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final are available here.
Courtside Hospitality packages are available by following this link.
For group bookings, please click here.