Loughborough Lightning ended their 2011 FIAT Netball Superleague season on a high beating a determined Team Northumbria in Newcastle to consolidate their fifth place finish in the TV match of the week.
Team Northumbria had been hoping for another upset, coming into the match on the back of three impressive victories, but Lightning were sparking for this game.
The visitors were penned in for the first 15 minutes of the match, but let loose in the second 15 and with Jo Harten and Becky James (only missed the one shot all night!) putting them up and scoring the goals Loughborough outscored Team North two-to-one. The home side was accurate but not getting enough chances to their shooters.
Lighting flashed further ahead in the third quarter playing the kind of netball that has deserted them at times in the 2011 season, again their scoreline was more than double the amount netted by Northumbria. Having trailed by one, then 11, then 20 at the quarter breaks the home-side worked hard to stop the gap growing too much bigger in the final 15 minutes and it was determination that meant Loughborough won the final quarter by a single successful shot.
“Jo Harten played really well,” said Team Northumbria’s Head coach Tracey Neville who knows a good shooter when she sees one, “as a team they didn’t have any holes and had a good performance.”
“We did really well but in the second quarter they put us under immense pressure and they had the experience to take the game away. It’s been really good for us.”
The game marks the end of Neville’s first season as a netball Superleague coach and it’s been a rocky road that has gradually smoothed out.
“It’s going in the right direction, I think we’re probably the only team in the FIAT Netball Superleague not to want the season to end now.
“The girls have worked really hard, it’s been tough but they have come through and I want to finsih on a real positive but it’s been a real pleasure to coach this team. They are a great set of girls who have watched and tried. I have to congratulate them for their efforts.”
photos Janos Schmidt