Loughborough Lightning 58 Brunel Hurricanes 40
TeamBath 88 Northern Thunder 20
Celtic Dragons 44 Leeds Carnegie 45
Loughborough Lightning did not ease up in the last round of the Co-operative Netball Superleague, despite already qualifying for the end of season play offs, and put in a superb performance to dismiss Brunel Hurricanes 58-40 in front of their home crowd on Saturday evening. The win leaves Loughborough in an unassailable position at the top of the table, and gives them two opportunities to qualify for the Grand Final, which takes place at the K2 in Crawley on 05 April 2008.
For Loughborough, former England U21 Kara Luck was the stand out defender, restricting Brunel’s normally prolific Australian GA to only eight shooting attempts for the entire match, while Jo Harten top scored with 29/34.
Team Northumbria, second at the start of the final round of play, and also qualified for the play offs, face a potentially tricky final match against Mavericks, also qualified in fourth place, on Monday evening at Gateshead Leisure Centre with both sides keen to take the psychological advantage ahead of next weekend’s first round of play offs.
Elsewhere, reigning champions TeamBath reinforced their play off aspirations with an 88-20 win over Northern Thunder, while Leeds Carnegie, inspired by some positive shooting by former internationals Karen Greig and Tracey Neville, held on against a fiery Celtic Dragons side for a hard-fought 45-44 win despite a second half surge by the Dragons inspired by player coach Anna Mayes and Emily Rose.
The Co-operative Netball Superleague is the country’s leading domestic netball competition, featuring eight regionally based teams comprising the leading players from the English game, as well as stars from Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica, plus the other home nations. The first round of play offs takes place on Saturday, 15 March 2008, when Loughborough Lightning plays Team Northumbria and Team Bath plays Mavericks. The second round of play offs is on 29 March, with the Grand Final on 05 April 2008