The 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season continued over the weekend with ten matches across four days in the final round staged at Production Park Studio 001.
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…
Friday night saw Loughborough Lightning claim an impressive 61-35 win over Strathclyde Sirens, stretching a lead that was only two goals at halftime.
Vitality Rose Beth Cobden produced a dominant display to earn the Princes Square Player of the Match award as she proved integral to Lightning’s remarkable second-half performance.
Team Bath Netball recovered from their first defeat of the season last weekend to overcome Leeds Rhinos 52-46 in Friday’s second match.
Donnell Wallam returned to Rhinos’ starting lineup helping to compete for long periods as Bath eventually pulled away, with Vitality Rose Imogen Allison named Age Partnership Player of the Match
Surrey Sports Park Player of the Match Towera Vinkhumbo continued her formidable form for Strathclyde Sirens to kick off Saturday’s action as they defeated Surrey Storm 46-33.
It was closely fought in the opening quarter, but Sirens flew out of the blocks in the second and were in control for the remainder of the contest.
Vitality Netball Superleague teams will observe a two minute silence before their fixtures this weekend in memory of His Royal Highness The Prince Phillip.
Players will also wear black armbands as a mark of respect. pic.twitter.com/n9bKqajoLu
— Vitality Netball Superleague (@NetballSL) April 10, 2021
Building on the night before, Team Bath Netball consolidated their position at the top by beating London Pulse 37-27.
Pulse responded admirably after a difficult first quarter to limit the deficit as Bath’s quality ultimately shone through, with England legend and Rengen Player of the Match Serena Guthrie on form.
Loughborough Lightning then returned to court to take on Celtic Dragons and Sara Bayman’s side were in prolific form as they scored a 76-23 victory.
Cardiff Met University Player of the Match Susie Liverseidge starred in the attacking end as Lightning maintain pressure on the league leaders.
On Sunday, Rebekah Airey was named Surrey Sports Park Player of the Match as Manchester Thunder beat Surrey Storm 52-35.
Mikki Austin’s side threatened to pull off an upset as they raced into an 11-8 lead in the first quarter, but Thunder reeled them in before the buzzer and went on to take the three points.
Celtic Dragons produced a much-improved display against Wasps as they eventually went down 52-38.
England centurion Rachel Dunn stepped up to make the difference in a Cardiff Met University Player of the Match-winning performance.
If you know, you know…last time climbing these stairs, last time in Wakefield! We play 4pm today and 5.15pm tomorrow on @SkyNetball as the first round of @NetballSL is completed. Loving every moment with the @Wasps_Netball family so far ✌🏼🐝 pic.twitter.com/bmkS6oxQaH
— Francesca Williams (@fwills11) April 11, 2021
The final game on Sunday saw Saracens Mavericks defeat Severn Stars 54-34 as Kat Ratnapala’s side fired 19 goals in a sensational last quarter.
Mavericks managed the contest well before that with iPro Player of the Match and Vitality Rose Gabby Marshall patrolling the mid-court excellently.
It was a less auspicious outing the following night as Saracens Mavericks were edged out 38-34 by Wasps in a crucial match in the battle to make top four.
Wasps trailed heading into the last 12 minutes but, inspired by Mizuno Player of the Match Iona Christian, they won the final quarter 13-7 to steal the win.
Manchester Thunder clinched their second win over Leeds Rhinos this season with a 66-47 triumph as the round’s action came to a close on Monday night.
Vitality Rose Ellie Cardwell’s potency in the circle saw her awarded Age Partnership Player of the Match as Thunder remained in charge throughout.
👍 from @ECardwell11.
📺 Live on Sky Sports Action & Mix
— Sky Sports Netball (@SkyNetball) April 12, 2021
Sky Sports pundit Eboni Usoro-Brown said of Manchester Thunder: “It was a complete performance from the front to the back, I think everybody came in and did their role.
“Ellie Cardwell was sensational, took the ball… take, turn and shoot. But also the confidence of Amy Carter letting the ball go to (Joyce) Mvula from the centre third and landing on target, but also being willing to do the long and the short play.”
Watch all of the weekend’s action back on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel!
Head to the Vitality Netball Superleague website for upcoming fixture details.