Last weekend saw some highly-anticipated matchups in the Vitality Netball Superleague, Suncorp Super Netball and the ANZ Premiership. The Vitality Roses featured heavily in these fixtures and made their impact on the court. Here’s how they performed…
Vitality Netball Superleague
The first match of Round 11 saw London Pulse face second-place side Loughborough Lightning. Hannah Joseph’s Lightning side made a racing start. A feed from Nat Panagarry into Mary Cholok opened the scoring and after 15 minutes Lightning had amassed an incredible 20-6 lead.
Lightning continued to pile on the pressure as Player of the Match Joseph contributed 25 feeds to her team’s victory (44-64) and Pulse’s first home defeat of the season.
Team Bath Netball’s Layla Guscoth put in a stand-out performance this weekend against Strathclyde Sirens. She recorded six deflections and four turnovers to keep home-side Sirens at bay as Team Bath came away with the win (40-57).
At the Sport Wales National Centre, Celtic Dragons played host to top of the table side Manchester Thunder on Saturday. Laura Malcolm’s Thunder side established an early lead in the match thanks to some composed build-up play and calm finishing in front of the post from Eleanor Cardwell.
Dragons displayed great determination and didn’t make life easy for Thunder. Even though they trailed by seven at the end of the second quarter (27-34), there was still all to play for.
The second half of the match was closely-contested as Dragons held their own against the league leaders with some positive play, asking some serious questions of the Thunder defence.
Natalie Metcalf showed expert vision and continued to provide passes into the hands of Cardwell who put the shots away well. In the end, Thunder retained their unbeaten record (50-59).
Down at Surrey Sports Park, Liana Leota’s Severn Stars side were beaten by an in-form Surrey Storm. Despite a positive start for Stars, Storm began to run away with the scoreline in the final two quarters, stretching their lead to victory (68-52).
Saracens Mavericks hosted Wasps in a mid-table Monday Night Netball fixture. Both sides began confidently, going toe-to-toe and trading goals and at the end of the first quarter, they were level on the scoreboard (11-11).
After the break it was Mavericks who applied the pressure, moving the ball around the court with conviction to build themselves a seven-goal advantage going into the halftime break.
Aliyah Zaranyika earned five interceptions and five turnovers for her side as the visitors struggled to penetrate Mavericks’ defence as the home side returned to winning ways (62-43).
Razia Quashie was awarded Gilbert Player of the Match for her contribution in her team’s victory.
In the final match of Round 11, Loughborough Lightning faced Leeds Rhinos for the first time this season.
Lightning took the first centre pass and after an end-to-end display, Vicki Oyesola’s Rhinos held a narrow lead at the close of the first quarter (15-17).
Lightning upped the tempo and scored 12 unanswered goals during the second quarter to take a 34-27 lead.
The final two quarters of the fixture were closely-contested as both sides showed a lot of energy to fire up the Loughborough crowd.
Displaying fluid movement and excellent awareness, Hannah Joseph provided 13 feeds which contributed to her team’s goal tally whilst Fran Williams earned four turnovers to help keep the Rhinos at arm’s length.
At the end of the match, it was the home side who took the win (62-54).
Suncorp Super Netball
In Round 2 of Suncorp Super Netball, 2021 champions NSW Swifts faced Melbourne Vixens.
Swifts’ Helen Housby notched 24 goals in this end-to-end fixture which aided her team’s victory (48-53).
Sunshine Coast Lightning suffered defeat to Queensland Firebirds. Firebirds’ new signing Eboni Usoro-Brown looked sharp in defence, claiming three rebounds and four turnovers for her side, assisting in her team’s convincing win (54-82).
You can read more about how Eboni is getting on in Australia by reading her diary here.
Stacey Francis-Bayman’s West Coast Fever took the win against Geva Mentor’s Collingwood Magpies. Francis-Bayman’s side got off to a flying start, leading by 10 at the end of the first quarter (10-19).
Mentors’ Magpies began to recover but struggled to make an impact on the match. At the end of the fourth quarter, they trailed 53-70.
The final fixture of SSN Round 2 saw Adelaide Thunderbirds face Giants Netball. Training partner Chelsea Pitman (West Coast Fever) joined Jo Harten’s Giants for this fixture but despite Harten’s 10 feeds and 23 goals, her side couldn’t hold back the Thunderbird’s attack as Giants lost 56-43.
In the fourth round of the ANZ Premiership, George Fisher’s side Southern Steel travelled to face Northern Mystics. Despite earning six rebounds and finishing accurately with 47 goals to her name, it was Northern Mystics who came out on top, ending the match with a 67-59 lead.
Tickets for the Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown are available here.
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