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Netball - 04. February 2008.

Netball Superleague updates

Loughborough Lightning remains at the top of the Co-operative Netball
Superleague this week after an impressive 74-38 win over bottom team
Northern Thunder. The win takes Lightning three points clear of second
placed Team Northumbria, who face TeamBath, currently third, on Monday



With one eye on the play offs, Loughborough coach Rose Port took the
opportunity to give her full squad a run out, and was rewarded with
impressive shooting from James, Harten, Doyle and Stephenson and an
eyecatching centre court display from England U21 Sarah Jane O'Sullivan,
who fitted neatly into the Loughborough attacking line up. However, the
Thunder side can take heart from the way that they contested the entire
match, maintaining their workrate throughout the game, and Welsh
international Nicola Szehofner, returning to action after a long term back
injury, made life extremely difficult for the Lightning shooters in the
second half.

Meanwhile, last season's runners' up Mavericks look to be running into
form at exactly the right point in the season, after powering past Celtic
Dragons 61-21. The pace and power of the Mavericks midcourt, inspired by
England internationals Clare Elsley and Karen Atkinson, made them too hot
for the Dragons to handle, although the Welsh side continued to push
throughout the game and never gave up. England international Louisa
Brownfield was once again Mavericks most impressive shooter, netting 33 of
her side's goals, while Claire Higham and England captain Amanda Newton
were solid at the back, taking numerous interceptions in an entertaining


Brunel Hurricanes showed that they are not to be dismissed as play off
contenders after a 61-35 victory over Leeds Carnegie. Shrugging off the
disappointment of their loss to TeamBath earlier this week, Brunel came
out of the blocks firing from the first whistle, with Australian GD Kate
Mahoney having a spectacular game to restrict Leeds' usually prolific GA
Tracey Neville to only five shots on goal in the first half. The win moves
Hurricanes into fifth place, three points behind Mavericks.

Reigning champions TeamBath have a tough week ahead, facing Team
Northumbria on Monday night (play starts at 8.00pm) before hosting
Loughborough Lightning on Friday (play starts at 7.00pm). The TeamBath vs
Team Northumbria match will be shown as live on Sky Sports Xtra on
Thursday afternoon at 5.00pm.

Photographs from the Mavericks/Dragons game are by Kevin Jones
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