Loughborough Lightning, the East Midland’s premier netball team, are preparing for the biggest game of their career as they get set for the Co-operative Netball Superleague Final, which takes place this Saturday (5 April) in Crawley East Sussex.
The Lightning girls will face Mavericks, from Hatfield, who secured their place in the final after winning their playoff match against Team Northumbria last weekend. Lightning has never made the final of the Superleague before after finishing in third place in 2006 and 2007. Mavericks however have made the final each year but lost out both times to Team Bath. This is the first year Team Bath are not in the running for the title after they finished fourth in the losers’ playoff.
Lightning have been at the top of the Superleague for the majority of the season and finished in pole position for the playoffs with 26 points, 3 points ahead of second place Team Northumbria.
Player-coach Olivia Murphy is thrilled with her team’s performance so far this season, she said, “It has been hard trying to prepare for the final as we only found out who we are facing last weekend. We had a sneaking suspicion it would be Mavericks though so we have been basing our training in the past couple of weeks around their strong points.
“To prepare for the final we have been really focusing our training so we can put in the best performance on the night. The girls are really excited but I know the nerves will kick in as we get closer!
“It’s really hard to predict what the result will be. When we played Mavericks earlier on in the season we only beat them by two points so it could go either way. Obviously we are hoping for a victory but I just want the girls to put in a team performance and I am sure, judging by the rest of our games this year, that will get us the result we want.”
All tickets for the Superleague final have now sold out but you can tune in to the game on Sky Sports Extra on Thursday April 10 at 5.30pm.