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Netball - 03. May 2007.

English Super League Loughborough Lightning book a place in the play offs


 

Celtic Dragons v Loughborough Lightning

Cardiff is a long way but the trip was worth it for the Lightning when victory secured a play-off place for the second season running. Mathematically, had Lightning lost to Dragons and Northumbria won against Thunder then it would have come down to the last home game of the season to decide the play-off spot. However, a strong display from Lightning took the points and made sure of their contention for a place in the Grand Final.

Lightning travelled without experienced GS Alex Astle and started the match with Heather Clarke at GS and Becky James lining up at GA. Hannah Reid came back in to the side at GK and Tash Hampshire started at WA so it was a very different Lightning team to the one that played the game at Mavericks.

From the start Lightning dominated play. Clarke and James collectively shot at 88% in the first quarter which we won 15-7. The Lightning mid-court was too fast and too strong for Dragons to contain and, with Reid and Agbeze pressurising the Dragons shot, the home team struggled to find any rhythm. The second quarter was much of the same with Lightning having the edge in all departments. Lightning created even more chances in the shooting circle and although the shooting accuracy dropped slightly, we still stretched the lead to 27-15 at half time.

Rose Port used the break to change combinations at both ends of the court. In defence Tomlin came in at GD and Agbeze switched to GK, in attack James moved to GS and Stephenson came on at GA. The changes galvanised an already dominant team and Lightning picked up the pace of their play. Dragons had little answer defensively and Lightning converted 17 of the 23 scoring chances they created. By the end of the quarter Lightning were in an unassailable lead, 44-24.

The final 15 minutes saw Jade Clarke leave the court, to be replaced by Kara Luck, and Heather Clarke return to court at GS. Our attacking impetus dipped from the third quarter but Lightning still put away 13 out of 15 chances. In contrast Lightning stepped up a defensive gear and constant pressure on the Welsh sides shooters, meant that they could only score 5 goals in the whole quarter. Final score 57-29, an emphatic win on the road.

The big plus for Lightning in this game was the confident and consistent attacking performance without Astle on court and with Hampshire playing her first full game. This weeks opponents, Northern Thunder, caused us some problems earlier in the season, so we need another strong performance in the lead up to the play-offs. There is also the added incentive to perform in the final league game, with the Sky Sport’s cameras capturing all the action.

-Ends-

2007 remaining fixtures;

Fri 4th May 2007 7:30pm v Northern Thunder (HOME)

Playoff fixtures TBC

Images available on request. For further information please contact:

Rick Barrow at Perfect Motion on 0115 9258777/ 07809 657766, or email rick.barrow@perfectmotion.org

For tickets, please contact the helpline on 01509 226250

. Mathematically, had Lightning lost to Dragons and Northumbria won against Thunder then it would have come down to the last home game of the season to decide the play-off spot. However, a strong display from Lightning took the points and made sure of their contention for a place in the Grand Final.

Lightning travelled without experienced GS Alex Astle and started the match with Heather Clarke at GS and Becky James lining up at GA. Hannah Reid came back in to the side at GK and Tash Hampshire started at WA so it was a very different Lightning team to the one that played the game at Mavericks.

From the start Lightning dominated play. Clarke and James collectively shot at 88% in the first quarter which we won 15-7. The Lightning mid-court was too fast and too strong for Dragons to contain and, with Reid and Agbeze pressurising the Dragons shot, the home team struggled to find any rhythm. The second quarter was much of the same with Lightning having the edge in all departments. Lightning created even more chances in the shooting circle and although the shooting accuracy dropped slightly, we still stretched the lead to 27-15 at half time.

Rose Port used the break to change combinations at both ends of the court. In defence Tomlin came in at GD and Agbeze switched to GK, in attack James moved to GS and Stephenson came on at GA. The changes galvanised an already dominant team and Lightning picked up the pace of their play. Dragons had little answer defensively and Lightning converted 17 of the 23 scoring chances they created. By the end of the quarter Lightning were in an unassailable lead, 44-24.

The final 15 minutes saw Jade Clarke leave the court, to be replaced by Kara Luck, and Heather Clarke return to court at GS. Our attacking impetus dipped from the third quarter but Lightning still put away 13 out of 15 chances. In contrast Lightning stepped up a defensive gear and constant pressure on the Welsh sides shooters, meant that they could only score 5 goals in the whole quarter. Final score 57-29, an emphatic win on the road.

The big plus for Lightning in this game was the confident and consistent attacking performance without Astle on court and with Hampshire playing her first full game. This weeks opponents, Northern Thunder, caused us some problems earlier in the season, so we need another strong performance in the lead up to the play-offs. There is also the added incentive to perform in the final league game, with the Sky Sport’s cameras capturing all the action.

-Ends-

2007 remaining fixtures;

Fri 4th May 2007 7:30pm v Northern Thunder (HOME)

Playoff fixtures TBC

Images available on request. For further information please contact:

Rick Barrow at Perfect Motion on 0115 9258777/ 07809 657766, or email rick.barrow@perfectmotion.org

For tickets, please contact the helpline on 01509 226250

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