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Netball - 29. April 2007.

English Super League Series-Mavericks go second

TeamBath 60 Brunel Hurricanes 29

Leeds Met Carnegie 21 Mavericks 57

Celtic Dragons 27 Loughborough Lightning 59


Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Team Bath

13

13

0

0

859

403

26

2

Mavericks

13

9

0

4

599

443

18

3

Brunel Hurricanes

13

9

0

4

503

447

18

4

Loughborough Lightning

13

8

1

4

632

499

17

5

Team Northumbria

12

5

1

6

466

540

11

6

Northern Thunder

12

4

0

8

444

553

8

7

Celtic Dragons

13

2

0

11

412

639

4

8

Leeds Met Carnegie

13

0

0

13

344

735

0

Mavericks moved back into second place in the Netball Superleague with one week of regular fixtures remaining, after a 57-21 victory over Leeds Met Carnegie. With Brunel Hurricanes slipping to third place on goal difference, after losing to league leaders TeamBath 29-60, the final play off places look set to be decided in next week's final round of matches, ahead of the play offs which commence on 26 May 07.

In Saturday's final fixture, Loughborough Lightning reinforced their play off position with a 57-29 win over Celtic Dragons.

Despite their position at the bottom of the Netball Superleague table, Leeds Met gave Mavericks a stern fight throughout the match, with 16 year old Alex Kirk impressing with her courtwork and accurate shooting. However, for Mavericks, the defensive unit of Janet Coulburne, Amanda Newton and Naomi Siddall was once again in impressive form, cutting off numerous Leeds offensive moves. Meanwhile, in attack, England's Louisa Brownfield and England A's Joanne Harten were in superb shooting form, which is encouraging news ahead of the May test series between the two England teams, Australia and New Zealand.

League leaders TeamBath made it 13/13 over Brunel Hurricanes with a dynamic display of attacking netball, in their 60-29 win. Coach Jan Crabtree once again rang the changes in her line up, giving Gemma Fletcher the starting nod at GK alongside Welsh captain Billy Bowers. TeamBath edged the first quarter 11-10, but after a timeout for injury midway through the second period, started to find their form and rhythm, taking the period 15-7 to lead 26-17 at half time. With TeamBath's international shooting combination of Rachel Dunn and Pamela Cookey starting to take the upper hand over their international colleagues Mkoloma and Hutchinson, and the champions taking the upper hand in the centre court, Brunel could find no way through, and with a flurry of goals in the final quarter (15-3) the champions cruised to victory. Team Northumbria is now the only obstacle between TeamBath and an undefeated league season: the two sides meet next Saturday.

Loughborough's victory was once again founded on an excellent shooting performance by Welsh international Becky James, who scored 25 of her side's goals, combined with some superb centre court work by Jade Clarke and Olivia Murphy, whose speed and anticipation helped them to outwit the Dragons' centre court. The Welsh side will once again be rueing their missed shooting opportunities, with none of their goalers managing to score more than 55% of their shots against the Loughborough defence of Agbeze and Reid.

On Monday, Team Northumbria travels to Northern Thunder in what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Both sides have threatened the top teams this season, and have ambitions of finishing fifth in the league. Play starts at Liverpool's Greenbank Sports Academy at 7.30pm, or, if you are unable to see the match live, tune in to Sky Sports next Thursday.

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