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Vitality Netball Superleague 2021: Rounds 17 and 18 Recap

Action shot during Vitality Super League match between Saracen Mavericks and Wasps Netball at Copper Box Arena, London, England on 31st May 2021.

The 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season continued over the weekend with ten matches across four days at the Copper Box Arena.

The teamwork shown between players, coaches, staff and volunteers helped to get the season up and running with fans able to enjoy every pass, goal and intercept live on Sky Sports. 

Here’s your recap of all the action… 

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The weekend began on Friday night with London Pulse’s 51-30 over Celtic Dragons as supporters were welcomed back for the first time since the pandemic.

The Copper Box Arena is the regular home venue for Pulse and they relished the opportunity to perform in front of spectators once again, with Cardiff Met University Player of the Match Lafebre Rademan the outstanding player in a great performance.

League leaders Team Bath Netball maintained their grip on top spot with a 45-32 victory against Severn Stars.

Stars kept the score fairly tight within each quarter but the quality Bath attack, featuring iPro Hydrate Player of the Match Kim Borger, ultimately tilted the contest in their favour.

Computacenter Player of the Match Suzie Liverseidge starred in Loughborough Lightning’s 59-35 win against Celtic Dragons in Saturday’s first match.

Lightning stormed out of the blocks to hold a remarkable 21-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Dragons responded positively and even managed to take the final period.

Manchester Thunder confirmed their place in the semi-finals defeating Severn Stars 55-43, with Caroline O’Hanlon awarded Netball UK Player of the Match.

Stars took the third quarter as they approach a couple of more winnable fixtures, but Thunder’s early dominance always had them in control.

Princes Square Player of the Match Rachel Shaw was on form as Team Bath Netball overcame Strathclyde Sirens 48-37.

The game was decided in a rampant first half by the Blue and Gold where they established a 13-goal advantage that Sirens couldn’t recover despite an improved display in the second period.

A decisive third-quarter performance from Loughborough Lightning saw Sara Bayman’s side claim a 59-51 in over Leeds Rhinos on Sunday.

Both the first and second periods finished level before Computacenter Player of the Match Mary Cholhok nudged the result in Lightning’s favour.

Strathclyde Sirens secured a crucial win in the race for top four as they beat Saracens Mavericks 41-35.

Lucozade Sport Player of the Match Beth Dix helped make the difference in a close encounter where Sirens just about kept Mavericks at arm’s length.

Netball UK Player of the Match Joyce Mvula inspired Manchester Thunder to a 57-41 victory against Surrey Storm.

Thunder scored more goals than their opponents in every quarter as they aim to head into the semi-finals with some momentum behind them.

Leeds Rhinos strengthened their push for a semi-finals place on Monday night as they overcame Surrey Storm 49-39.

Emily Hollingworth was introduced to Rhinos’ starting lineup and the wing-defence rewarded Dan Ryan’s faith in her by delivering an Age Partnership Player of the Match performance.

The round concluded with a dramatic game between Saracens Mavericks and Wasps as Kat Ratnapala’s side triumphed 41-37 with a late flurry of goals.

Vitality Rose and Lucozade Sport Player of the Match Gabby Marshall flourished in the mid-court as Mavericks ensured fourth place remains in their hands.

Vitality Roses Head Coach and Sky Sports pundit Jess Thirlby said: “When they’re (Mavericks) seen as the underdog or when there’s been a bit of pressure, it’s like they take offence to it and they just go up another level.”

Head to the Vitality Netball Superleague website for upcoming fixture details.

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