A controlled team performance powered Team Northumbria back to the top of the Co-operative Netball Superleague last night, with a 58-31 win over Northern Thunder's young squad. Former England U21 Vicky Burgess and Australian star Elissa MacLeod were in sparkling form in centre court, driving positively through to the circle edge and turning over numerous Thunder attacks in midcourt. The win, Team Northumbria's sixth in this year's competition, retains their unbeaten record for the season, and puts them two points ahead of Loughborough Lightning in the table.
Picture shows Northumbria’s Australian star Elissa MacLeod in action during last night’s match.
Lara McLeod, Northumbria's other Australian import, was once again the leading scorer, netting 30 goals from 34 attempts, and was ably supported by veteran Lisa Stanley (19/24) and Scottish international captain Lesley Macdonald, who netted 9 from 10 in her first quarter of the competition, since returning from the New World Netball World Championships in New Zealand.
However, the young Northern Thunder side refused to be overawed and battled hard, losing the first and third quarters by only four goals. Captain Lisa Ferneyhough battled hard with Stanley to turn over several key interceptions, but Northumbria's superior pace, height and teamwork ultimately won the day for them.
Catch all the action and reaction from this game, as well as news of the week's other matches, on Sky Sports Extra on Thursday evening from 5.00pm. The Co-operative Netball Superleague resumes on 05 January 08, when Team Northumbria will travel to Mavericks, who will be strengthened by the return of international stars Amanda Newton, Louisa Brownfield and Karen Atkinson, in what promises to be a thrilling match. For more information, please visit www.englandnetball.co.uk.