The opening of the first quarter saw Lightning make a strong start but the Hurricanes fought back goal for goal. Lara Welham, the Brunel GA, placed some good feeds into GS, Vicklyn Joseph, but a steady flow of turnovers by Lightning enabled the away team to finish the first quarter ahead; 10-9.
In the second quarter Lightning made several changes in attack bringing on Alex Astle at GS and Natasha Hampshire at WA. Despite several turnovers by Lightning, few were converted into chances at goal. Brunel defended physically and silly errors by Lightning allowed the home team to regain control, drawing level. Lightning however, maintained pressure to finish ahead, 19-17, at half time.
For the third quarter Becky James came on at GA and Verona Tomlin at GD. It took a little while for the changes to bed in and Lighting occasionally allowed Brunel to force them into errors. But Lightning proved its class, regaining control of the quarter to draw 8-8 (progressive score 27-25).
The final quarter saw O’Neill return to the court at C and Olivia Murphy move to WA. With Jade Clarke’s tenacious defending and some excellent pick offs in the defensive circle, Lightning strengthened its lead. O’Neill, Murphy and Clarke controlled the middle and the team maintained its cool when the pressure set in, ending the quarter ahead 11-8, and taking the match 33–38.
Player-Coach, Olivia Murphy said, “The game was a bit disjointed with all the players back from the World Championships and our new addition Jo Harton. The start was pretty scrappy for both sides with errors being made all over the place and few turnovers being converted in to goals.
“However, we were very pleased to come out on top, the right side of the win, and are looking forward to our game against the Celtic Dragons this Saturday. We beat them comfortably at the start of the season, 57-32, but they also have all their international players back from the Welsh squad so it could be a very different game.
“We are now at the half way point of the Co-operative Netball Super League season and there is still everything to play for. Team Bath, the Mavericks and Northumbria are all having good seasons, as we are, so it’s going to be a fight for the four playoff places.”
Lightning’s next home game is against the Celtic Dragons on Saturday 12th January. Tickets are available in advance on the ticket hotline, Tel: 01509 226250, or through the website: www.loughboroughlightning.com or on the door (depending on availability) at Netball Centre. At £5 a ticket for adults and £3 for concessions, the game works out as a bargain priced night out for all.
For further information please contact Jo Pockett at Perfect Motion on 0115 9258 777 or email [email protected]