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International Player Watch – Round 11 of the UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague

Normality resumed in the Vitality Netball Superleague this week with all teams taking to court in Round 11, following two postponed matches in Round 10.

The round marked the start of the second half of the season, and it was the defenders that stood out this week.

London Pulse 44 – 64 Loughborough Lightning

Lightning suffered their first defeat of the season in Round 10 against Manchester Thunder, but this week they struck back to beat Pulse 44-64 and return to winning ways. It was a strong first half for Lightning that secured their  victory, as they led by 14 at the end of the first 15 minutes and 19 by half-time. The deficit was too much for Pulse to come back from, with Lightning’s defensive duo of Francesca Williams and Alice Harvey (both England Roses) stepping up the test and making 13 deflections and four interceptions between them. Harvey now sits 4th on the league’s most deflections chart.

Strathclyde Sirens 40 – 57 Team Bath

Team Bath dominated the match against Sirens, going into every quarter in the lead and beating them 57-40. England Rose, Layla Guscoth put on a fantastic defensive display for Bath, as she made four interceptions, six deflections and four turnovers at goal keeper taking her to 4th on the most turnovers and the most deflections charts. The victory took Bath back to winning ways after their loss to Wasps in Round 9 and they missed out on a fixture in Round 10 due to COVID-19 protocols.

Celtic Dragons 50 – 59 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder started the second half of the season, just how they finished the first; with a victory. For the second time this season they beat Celtic Dragons, but this time it was a much closer score line of 50-59, compared to 79-53 on the opening day of the season. Thunder still went into every quarter with the lead and dominated throughout, showing their versatility as they made many substitutions throughout the court. One player that stood out was Thunder player and South Africa SPAR Protea, Shadine Van der Merwe, who came back on at Goal Defence in the 4th Quarter and made an instant impact forcing Dragons to make more errors, which Thunder capitalised on to remain in the lead despite a stronger second half from the home-side. 

Surrey Storm 68 – 52 Severn Stars

Surrey Storm continued their winning streak, as they won their 4th match in a row beating Severn Stars 68-52 this weekend at the Surrey Sports Park. Storm’s Star shooter, Proscovia Peace (Ugandan), scored 45 of Storm’s 68 goals, taking her season tally to 476 and putting her 2nd on the most goals scored chart. In the defensive set-up for Storm Australian Leah Middleton took control, making eight turnovers and two interceptions and three deflections. Those impressive eight turnovers have put Middleton 3rd in the league’s turnover charts for the year, with an impressive 46 to her name.

Saracens Mavericks 62 – 43 Wasps

It seems Mavericks benefited from their week off in Round 10, as after losing four of their last five, this week they secured a 62-43 victory over Wasps. Sisters and England Rose duo, Sasha and Kadeen Corbin worked seamlessly together in attack for Mavericks, with Kadeen making 24 feeds into the attacking circle and Sasha 12. At the other end of the court, England Roses Jodie Gibson and Razia Quashie  looked strong making nine turnovers and nine interceptions between them. The strong all round team performance from Mavericks meant they never went into a quarter losing and saw them move up to 8th in the table.

Loughborough Lightning 62 – 54 Leeds Rhinos

Finally, to finish off a round of defensive dominance, Loughborough Lightning took to court for the second time securing their second victory of the weekend and closing the gap on Manchester Thunder at the top of the table.  Unfortunately for Lightning their star shooter, Mary Cholhok (Uganda), who also tops the leagues goal scorer charts, had to be subbed off in the third quarter due to injury. However, Lightning still managed to see the game out with Emma Thacker and Suzie Liverseidge finishing the job in the shooting circle.

The next round of the VNSL will start on the 8th April, and you can view the fixtures here.

To find out more about leagues taking place in other World Netball Regions this season, visit our Domestic League page here.

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