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Netball - 11. January 2008.

Electric Cookey Sparks TeamBath Surge

England's Pamela Cookey put in a superlative performance in her first
Co-operative Netball Superleague game of the season, shooting 26/29 in the
second half to power reigning champions TeamBath to an 80-33 victory over
Northern Thunder, and drive her side up to third place in the league.
TeamBath led 31-19 at half time, with the young Thunder squad putting up a
spirited challenge against the champions, and captain Lisa Ferneyhough
making life difficult for the TeamBath starting shooters of Delves and
Tett. However, once coach Jan Crabtree had introduced Cookey at the start
of the third quarter, and moved her England colleague Tamsin Greenway into
the other shooting role, the result was out of sight, with the
international pairing dazzling with their slick movement and almost
telepathic understanding.


Meanwhile, at the top of the table, Team Northumbria maintained their
perfect record for the season with an impressive 51-31 win over a gritty
and determined Mavericks side. England captain Amanda Newton returned for
the Mavericks after England's recent World Championships campaign, but
even her experience could not counteract the Tynesiders' pace and
precision in driving the ball through midcourt. For Northumbria, Aussie
Lara McLeod netted 27 of her side's goals, ably supported by some accurate
work from Lisa Stabnley and Scotland captain Lesley MacDonald, and despite
22 goals from MAvericks' new Kiwi signing Michelle Hall, the points were
always destined for the North East side.

Two other England stars, Sonia Mkoloma and Jade Clarke, returned for the
crunch match between Brunel Hurricanes and Loughborough Lightning, and it
was Clarke's Loughborough which emerged victorious with a 38-33 win that
reinforced their second place in the league. Clarke and former England
captain Olivia Muerphy were lynchpins of a solid Loughborough performance,
forcing the Londoners into error at crucial points in the game, which
shooters Alex Astle and Becky James took full advantage of.

The final match of the round, between Leeds Carnegie and Celtic Dragons,
takes place on Monday evening at the English Institute of Sport in
Sheffield. A win for Carnegie would see them go level on points with
Brunel Hurricanes.
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