Loughborough Lightning shot to the top of the Co-operative Netball Superleague with a stunning 72-36 victory over a determined Leeds Carnegie side. Welsh international star Becky James, returning to the Loughborough side after the recent Netball World championships, was in superb shooting form, netting 37 of her side’s goals, while former England U21 GD Kara Luck put in a magnificent performance against Leeds’ experienced shooter Tracey Neville, controlling the home side’s back line with flair and control.
Mavericks overturned the form of recent London derby matches to take an impressive 47-34 victory over Brunel Hurricanes to move into third place in the league. Lindsay Press, a new signing for Mavericks this season, was impressive in the shooting circle, netting 33 of her side’s goals, while her experienced captain Naomi Siddall gave Hurricanes’ Australian shooter Lara Welham an uncomfortable match with some tight marking and impressive interceptions.
Reigning champions TeamBath move into fourth place, after a hardfought 44-25 win over close rivals Celtic Dragons. Dragons gave the match their all, but could not overcome the strength and pace of the champions’ centre court combination of England U21 Serena Guthrie and England open squad member Jo Binns, and the shooting accuracy of Tamsin Greenway and Asha Tett.
Team Northumbria can move back to the top of the Co-operative Netball Superleague if they defeat Northern Thunder at Gateshead Leisure Centre on Monday night. Play starts at 7.00pm.
The Co-operative Netball Superleague is England’s premier domestic competition, featuring eight regionally based teams that include England open and U21 squad members, as well as overseas stars from Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. For more information, please visit www.englandnetball.co.uk.
After the Christmas break, the competition resumes on 05 January 2007, with several hotly anticipated contests including Brunel Hurricanes vs Loughborough Lightning and Mavericks vs Team Northumbria.
photos Janos Schmidt