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Loughborough Lightning win their first ever Vitality Netball Superleague final

The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) came to a dramatic end in the UK this weekend, as Loughborough Lightning clenched the title from Team Bath in the Grand Final with a 49-32 victory.

Sara Francis-Bayman’s Lightning side struck down Leeds Rhinos in the semi-final on Saturday, with a convincing 58-38 win, whilst Team Bath only just secured their place in Sunday’s final when they beat Manchester Thunder 38-41.

Despite the semi-final results, Bath were still the favourites to win the final as the Superleague’s most decorated side.

But, Lightning stepped up to the plate and broke their grand final curse, which had previously seen them fall at the last hurdle in 2008, 2017 and 2018.

In their most recent grand-final defeat in 2018, Beth Cobden suffered an early ACL injury, but three years on the wing defence was the star of the show as she dominated the centre third and ensured her side went into every interval leading the way.

Francis-Bayman’s side finished the third quarter with a seven-goal lead, which they only extended in the final 12 minutes of the season making it impossible for Bath to bounce back.

Earlier in the day, in the 3rd place play-off, Leeds Rhino’s finished off their inaugural season with a 34-43 defeat, as they fell to the hands of Manchester Thunder.

Dan Ryan’s Rhino’s side started the game strong, going into the second quarter with a one goal lead, but Thunder came out strong in the second half and stormed their way to victory in front of 1000 fans in the Copper Box Arena.

Despite the weekends results the VNSL were key to point out it was netball that won this season, as the league had managed to go ahead successfully through the pandemic with fans using the hashtag ‘#VictoryAsOne” on social media to celebrate a commemorative season.

You can catch up on all this season’s action on Sky Sports YouTube channel now.

Results 

1st place: Loughborough Lightning

2nd place: Team Bath

3rd place: Manchester Thunder

4th place: Leeds Rhinos 

 

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