Round 6 of The Co-operative Netball Superleague began with a disappointing 16 goal defeat for Team Northumbria as Brunel Hurricanes secured their top three ranking on the league table, winning their fifth game in a row.
It was a tightly contested match between both sides with little separating them in the first two quarters.
Injury struck in the third quarter as Team Northumbria’s Centre player Kathy Spears suffered a painful hand injury and was forced to leave the game. This paved the way for Brunel Hurricanes, allowing them to take advantage of the ball and net plenty of goals.
Team Northumbria coach Natalie Swift was disappointed with the team’s loss after a closely contested, physical game.
Playing for Brunel Hurricanes, Sonia Mkoloma said: “It was a team effort by Brunel. We played a strong and consistent game and built on every lead.”
A close second game in round 6 meant Mavericks led the game by five goals to Leeds Carnegie. Mavericks now sit comfortably in fourth place on the league table with Leeds following closely behind in fifth position.
The game went goal for goal in the first quarter with Leeds players Ama Agbeze and Joanne Davies demonstrating great interceptions as Mavericks struggled to settle.
The second quarter saw a turn around for Mavericks, with feeders Chrissy Fitzgerald and Gemma Wiseman choosing to avoid high passes and keeping the game simple.
In the final quarter Mavericks struck with consistency, allowing them to score the final five goals.
Leeds coach Anna Newell was aware opportunities were missed. She said: “It was a close and well contested game. We had many opportunities but they were not taken.”
It was a positive home game for Loughborough this week as they continued an undefeated winning streak to beat Glasgow Wildcats by 23 goals.
It was a strong game from the start for both sides but Loughborough gained greater momentum throughout the first three quarters leading by 21 goals at three quarter time.
The final quarter was a tough fight for both teams but proved too late for the Wildcats to turn the game around.
Glasgow coach Denise Holland said: “It was a great opportunity to play our squad against an unbeaten side. We held our composure resulting in an impressive score.”
Captain of Loughborough Lightning Jade Clarke said: “Glasgow’s speed in mid- court made us work really hard and we had to think about what we were doing to adjust.”
A somewhat turbulent game was played between Celtic Dragons and Northern Thunder at Monday night’s game.
In a vital game for both sides, the pressure was evident from the outset with both sides hoping to lift themselves from the bottom of the league table.
Northern Thunder scraped themselves off the bottom of the table and led the game by a total of 11 goals despite a series of missed lead timings, missed attempts at goal and hesitation in attack from both teams.
Celtic Dragons dominated ball possession in the second quarter but a combination of not working together on court lost them the ball on too many occasions. Celtic handed over possession at crucial moments, losing opportunities to equalise and break away from Northern Thunder.
With poor performances from both sides, basic court play and shooting statistics will need to be improved by this weekend.
Celtic coach Sue Gaudion identified her team’s faults and will work on shooting and critical timing to get a good shooing position. She said: “I’m disappointed with the loss. We have a lot of work to do coming through the mid-court attack around our shooting circle.”
Winning coach Mike Greenwood was disappointed with Northern Thunder’s performance but was happy with the end result. All the action from the match between Celtic Dragons v Northern Thunder can be seen on Sky Sports 3 tonight (December 4) at 6pm.
Looking ahead to the weekend
Leeds Carnegie v Celtic Dragons (6.12.08 - 2pm Leeds Metropolitan University)
Team Northumbria v Loughborough Lightning (6.12.08 - 2.30pm Gateshead Leisure Centre)
Glasgow Wildcats v Mavericks (6.12.08 - 2pm Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena, Glasgow)
TeamBath v Brunel Hurricanes (8.12.08 -7.30pm Sports Training Village, University of Bath - televised)
– but the sailors praise the new boats