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International Player Watch – The UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague Round 20

It was the final round of the regular Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season this weekend, and despite all four final teams already being confirmed, there was still lots of exciting netball.

Let’s see which international players put in strong performances this week, and we’ve taken a look ahead to this week’s semi-final matches ahead of the Grand Final on Sunday.

Strathclyde Sirens 41 – 42 Wasps 

The first match of Round 20 was a thriller, as Wasps edged the tightly contested match by just one goal.

Wasps had a strong first quarter, which meant they led by 2 goals at half time.

England Rose Rachel Dunn scored 27 goals missing just 3 shots, and her experience and calmness in the circle helped her side throughout.

Sirens were behind by just 1 goal going into the final quarter, but Wasps managed to keep their lead and secure the win.

Wasps end the season in 9th.

London Pulse 52 – 45 Leeds Rhinos

London Pulse will go into their semi-final match full of confidence after victory against Leeds Rhinos.

Pulse dominated the 2nd and 3rd quarters, with England Rose Funmi Fadoju applying defensive pressure throughout the match with 8 turnovers, 11 deflections, and 3 intercepts. Fadoju now sits top of the ‘Deflections’ chart.

Rhinos did manage to win the final quarter, with England Rose Jade Clarke showing her class in the middle of the court. Clarke finished the match with 27 feeds, the most out of all players on the court.

Pulse finish the season in 3rd place and will travel to Loughborough Lightning for their semi-final match on Friday evening.

Rhinos finish the season in 6th place.

Saracens Mavericks 46 – 59 Team Bath Netball

Team Bath made a quick start in their match against Mavericks winning the first quarter 17-10. It had been a big week for Team Bath prior to this match as they announced their former captain Asha Francis as their new head coach, and the players will have definitely made an impression on Francis.

England Rose Layla Guscoth was named Player of the Match for her constant defensive pressure, which resulted in 3 intercepts, 2 deflections, and 3 turnovers. Meanwhile, in Team Baths shooting circle, Australia’s Kimberly Borger missed just 1 shot throughout the match.

After the match, Saracens Mavericks announced that their Director of Netball Kat Ratnapala will be leaving the club as this season has come to a close. World Netball would like to wish Kat all the very best for the future.

Team Bath will travel to Manchester Thunder on Friday night for their semi-final match, whilst Mavericks finish the season in 5th place.

Surrey Storm 58 – 52 Celtic Dragons

The match was won for Storm in the 2nd quarter of the match as they dominated proceedings 18-11, aside from this quarter the sides were evenly matched throughout.

Uganda’s Proscovia Peace was yet again outstanding for Surrey Storm as she netted 39 goals missing just 4 shots throughout. Peace ends the season top of the ‘Top Goal Scorers’ chart.

For Dragon’s, Welsh shooter Georgia Rowe did her best to keep her side in the match throughout as she shot at 100% accuracy.

Storm end the season in 7th position, and Celtic Dragons finish in 10th.

Severn Stars 40 – 48 Strathclyde Sirens

Stars started this match well, winning the first quarter 15-11, however Sirens had too much for them during the final three quarters, which resulted in an 8-goal victory for the Scottish side.

Malawi Queen Towera Vinkhumbo finishes the regular season at the top of the ‘Most Intercepts’ and ‘Most Turnovers’ chart as she claimed another 5 intercepts and 8 turnovers during this match.

Australian Gia Abernethy was influential at both ends of the court at centre for Sirens as she made 20 feeds during the match, as well as 2 turnovers, 1 intercept, and 1 deflection.

Sirens finish the season in 8th place and Severn Stars finish in 11th.

Manchester Thunder 71 – 63 Loughborough Lightning

Monday night netball and the final match of the regular season saw a top of the table clash between Manchester Thunder and Loughborough Lightning, as Thunder were looking to complete the season unbeaten.

The match remained tight throughout with just 4 goals separating the teams at half-time, however Thunder continued to convert with Joyce Mvula shooting at 100% accuracy, and Natalie Metcalf providing 29 feeds, meaning they ran out eventual winners 71-63, and consequently ended the season unbeaten.

Both teams will now be looking ahead to their semi-final matches on Friday, with Manchester Thunder hosting Team Bath Netball and Loughborough Lightning hosting London Pulse.

Coming up…

The Vitality Netball Superleague semi-final matches take place on Friday 3rd June, with the Grand Final happening on Sunday 5th June at the Copper Box Arena.

The first semi-final match sees Manchester Thunder host Team Bath Netball at Belle Vue. Thunder, who have remained unbeaten throughout the season, will be favourites heading into this clash, however Bath will be keen to provide an upset.

Thunder have posted scores of 80 or over on three separate occasions as their attack of England Roses’ Eleanor Cardwell and Nat Metcalf and Malawi Queen Joyce Mvula have been too hot to handle. However, Team Bath will be looking to stop them through the defensive skills of Layla Guscoth, who ended the regular season 2nd in the ‘Most Intercepts’ chart.

The match begins at 18:30 GMT.

The second semi-final match is taking place at the Sir David Wallace Arena as Loughborough Lightning welcome London Pulse.

The last time the sides met it was Loughborough Lightning who came out on top winning by a goal margin of 20 goals, as Lightning shooter Mary Cholhok netted 53 goals. Pulse will be keen to stop the feeds of England Rose Hannah Joseph who finished the regular season top of the leagues ‘Feeds’ chart and has been in great form this season.

Pulse will be full of confidence after their recent performance against Manchester Thunder, where they pushed the unbeaten team all the way. They’ll be keen for more of the same from star shooter Assaindey Olivia Tchine who has shown her class all season. At the other end of the court, Pulse has the player who ended the season with the highest number of deflections in the league, England Rose Funmi Fadoju. It is sure to be a great battle between the teams who finished 2nd and 3rd in the league.

The match begins at 20:00 GMT.

The third place play off will take place at 14:00 on Sunday 5th June, with the Grand Final starting at 16:15.

To view the leagues fixtures and previous results click here .

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

Coming up… 

The final round of the regular VNSL will start on the 27th May , and you can view the fixtures and previous results 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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