Loughborough Lightning cemented their place at the top of the Co-operative Netball Superleague with an entertaining 72-41 win over Leeds Carnegie at Carnegie Sports Centre on Saturday.
photos show The Super league match between Mavericks and Brunel Hurricanes/photos Kevin Jones
Loughborough coach Rose Port started with England shooter Jo Harten in combination with Lisa Stephenson, and used former England U21 squad member Sarah Penny at GK in partnership with Verona Tomlin as she tested combinations ahead of the play offs to come. Meanwhile, for Leeds, Loren Taylor started at GK instead of her usual WA position. The first quarter was played at breakneck speed, with Lightning powering to a 25-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. England’s Jade Clarke was too strong for Jenny Cross at WA for Leeds, dominating the top of the circle and snapping up a high number of interceptions, and Leeds coach Anna Newell was forced to switch Taylor back to her usual attacking position for the second quarter, replacing her at GK with Cat Parmiter.
The change seemed to work in Leeds’ favour, and the second quarter was more competitive. However, with Charlotte O’Neill now dictating play at C for Loughborough, and Penny and Tomlin working well in defence, the visitors still edged ahead, taking the quarter 16-10 to lead 41-20 at half time.
However Leeds were not prepared to give up without a fight, and the third quarter was a fierce battle. Leeds’ shooters Karen Greig and Tracey Neville were on song, using some neat interplay to work their way into shooting positions, and netting key goals with ease. Loughborough’s new combination, with Kara Luck now at GD for Tomlin, took time to settle and with Leeds contesting every ball in centre court, the quarter was tied 14 all.
The effort took its toll on Leeds in the final period, and with Becky James on at GS for Loughborough and Harten at GA, while Tomlin returned at GD to partner Hannah Reid, now on at GK, the league leaders settled. The Loughborough rhythm returned, and Leeds simply had nothing else in the tank. Loughborough stormed ahead once more, taking the quarter 17-7 and scored emphatic win with something to spare – with one week of normal league play to go, Lightning look to be running into great form at exactly the right time.
Startign line ups:
Leeds Carnegie: GS Greig, GA Neville, WA Cross, C Panagarry, WD Bloomfield, GD Davies, GK Taylor
Changes/substitutions: 2nd Q: Taylor to WA, WD Gevelaar, GK Parmiter, 3rd Q: Bloomfield to WD rep Gevelaar (inj)
Loughborough Lightning: GS Harten, GA Stephenson, WA Hampshire, C Murphy, WD Clarke, GD Tomlin, GK Penny
Changes/substitutions: 2nd Q: O’Neill to C, 3rd Q: Murphy to WA, GD Luck, 4th Q: GS James, Harten to GA, Tomlin to GD, GK Reid
Leeds Carnegie: Greig 23/30, Neville 18/22
Loughborough Lightning: Harten 38/51, James 9/10, Stephenson 25/29
CHAMPIONS EXTINGUISH DRAGONS’ FIRE
Reigning champions TeamBath stormed into the play offs of the Co-operative Netball Superleague, with a convincing 60-35 win over Celtic Dragons on Friday evening.
TeamBath were simply too strong for Celtic Dragons, despite missing several of their first team line up due to injuries, and with England's Pamela Cookey once again in superb shooting form, netting 44/47 and dazzling the opposition with her pace and vision, the result was soon beyond Dragons reach.
The champions started at breakneck speed, with the England trio of Sasha Corbin, Jo Binns and Sara Bayman powering through the midcourt to devastating effect. The first quarter went Bath’s way 17-5, and with a similar picture in the second, which Bath took 15-8, the result was effectively out of Dragons’ reach by half time.
With Asha Tett still missing from the TeamBath line up due to a broken finger, coach Jan Crabtree introduced teenager Rosie Allison to GS to gain some vital court time and experience. Dragons refused to be overawed, however, and despite losing the third quarter 18-10, as Cookey netted 16/16, they continued to challenge with Sophie Baxter and Suzy Drane giving their all in centre court.
Corbin and Bayman were rested for the final quarter, and Dragons took the chance to apply more pressure on the new TeamBath line up, with player/coach Anna Mayes – herself a former TeamBath player – urging the Welsh side forward once again. With Moseley and Munro forming a tall front line for the visiting side, Dragons kept their focus, but will rue the missed shots which went begging as TeamBath ran out 60-35 winners.
Starting line ups:
TeamBath: GS Delves, GA Cookey, WA Corbin, C Binns, WD Bayman, GD Fletcher, GK Beckford Chambers
Changes/substitutions: 3rd Q: GS Allison, Bayman to C, WD Guthrie, 4th Q: WA Henry, Binns to C
Celtic Dragons: GS Munro, GA Moseley, WA Trounce, C Baxter, WD Drane, GD Bliss, GK Hale
Changes/substitutions: 2nd Q: C Mayes, GD Rose, 3rd Q: GS Blucher, Munro to GA, Mayes to WA, Baxter to C, 4th Q: Moseley to GS, Rose to WD, Bliss to GD, GK Keable (rep Hale inj)
TeamBath: Allison 6/11, Cookey 44/47, Delves 10/19
Celtic Dragons: Blucher 1 / 2, Moseley 9/14, Munro 23/41
Umpires: Kim Burns and Louise Hiscocks
MAVERICKS BLOW HURRICANES’ PLAY OFF HOPES AWAY
Runners up for the past two years, Maverickss powered away from London rivals Brunel Hurricanes, outscoring them 24-10 in the second half en route to a 48-25 victory in the Co-operative Netball Superleague. The win leaves Mavericks in an unassailable position in the top four of the league and crushes Hurricanes’ hopes of making the end of season play offs for the third year in a row.
The victory was founded on a superb defensive display by Mavericks’ England defenders Amanda Newton,Naomi Siddall and Clare Elsley, who shut down the supply of ball to the Hurricanes shooters and forced the usually accurate Welham and Joseph into uncharacteristic errors.
The tension of the occasion undoubtedly caused several unforced errors, but this only heightened the excitement for the capacity crowd at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, with plenty of end to end action and physical challenges from both sides.
Mavericks settled into their rhythm first, and edged the first quarter 10-6, with Jones and Atkinson quickly finding their form to drive the ball confidently through midcourt to their shooters. Siddall upped the pressure on Joseph in the second period and was rewarded with a number of key interceptions which helped the Hertfordshire side power out to a 24-15 lead at half time.
Hurricanes’ coach Denise Holland introduced Katie Nichols at the start of the second half at C, to give more pace and first time ball to the London side’s attack, but Mavericks defensive determination stepped up a notch in response. Newton restricted Hurricanes’ usually prolific GA Lara Welham to only 12 shots on goal for the game, and with Siddall continuing to make life extremely difficult for Joseph, Mavericks took the second half 24-10 to put the result out of the Hurricanes’ reach.
The win moves Mavericks three points clear of Hurricanes, and thus ensures that the Hatfield-based side cannot be overtaken with only one round of matches remaining. Mavericks can now enjoy their final league game, next week against Team Northumbria, before the challenges of the play offs ahead
Starting line ups:
Mavericks: GS Brownfeild, GA Hall, WA Atkinson, C Jones, WD Elsley, GD Newton, GK Siddall. No changes/substitutions
Brunel Hurricanes: GS: Joseph, GA Welham, WA Francis, C Buchanan, WD Mahony, GD Mkoloma, GK Hutchinson
Changes/substitutions: 3rd Q: C Nichols, 4th Q: Buchanan to WA, WD Bello
Mavericks: Brownfield 34/40, Hall 14/23
Brunel Hurricanes: Joseph 15/30, Welham 10/12
Umpires: Dawn Heron and Kim Lumley
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images