Round 13 was another round of excitement with many of the leagues current leading teams being chased down all the way by their opponents.
Stars came close against Pulse, Siren’s dominated the first half against Lightning and Dragons chased down Team Bath until the very end.
Here are just some of the international players that stood out…
Severn Stars 50 – 56 London Pulse
Severn Stars pushed the then league leaders London Pulse all the way in the first clash of Round 13.
Pulse started the match the strongest taking a 10-16 lead into the first break, but Stars shone in the second quarter as they began to fight-back with a goal scoring flurry lead by South African Spar Protea Sigi Burger.
Burger has been consistently clinical this season for Stars, and this match was no different as she netted 33 goals, ending the match with 100% shooting accuracy and showing just why she should be in contention for a spot on the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 hosts team this July.
Thanks to a strong second quarter, Stars entered half-time trailing by just four goals and still in touch with the table toppers.
However, Pulse utilised their bench going into the penultimate quarter, making a triple change, which included the introduction of England Rose Ellie Rattu.
The three subs made an instant impact, and helped Pulse go on to have their best quarter yet, winning it 8-15, which was enough to see Pulse across the line despite a final-15 comeback from Stars.
Team Bath Netball 56 – 53 Celtic Dragons
Team Bath slayed the Dragons in the final quarter to take the win in front of their home fans.
Dragons this week appointed a new Coach, former Australian Diamond, Jill McIntosh, and her Dragons’ side certainly came out the blocks to impress her in this match.
With 15-minutes gone, Dragons were four goals to the good against a higher league placed Bath side.
However, as the second quarter got underway the Bath players began to really work as a unit throughout the court.
From Welsh Feather Bethan Dyke at centre, through to England Future Rose Jayda Pechova at goal keeper, each player began to stick to task and make Dragons job hard and bringing the score back to 32-32 at half-time.
The third quarter then promised more of the same, with Bath only able to enter the final-15 minutes with a one goal lead.
Pechova and Malawi Queen, Caroline Mtukule, stepped up for Bath in the final quarter making a couple of key interceptions between them to allow their team to take the points.
Saracens Mavericks 51 – 63 Surrey Storm
After Thunder came down on the Storm parade last round, Surrey Storm returned to winning ways in Round 13 to keep themselves in contention for a top of the table finish.
Mikki Austin’s Storm side wasted no time in ensuring they did not leave another away day with a defeat and won both the opening quarters.
However, they left their best performance until the third quarter when they managed to double their lead from five to 10 goals.
One England Rose that was crucial in this was Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, the goal attack put on a masterclass performance not only doing her job under the post scoring 25 goals, but also putting in a shift throughout the goal and centre thirds, making one interception, three deflections and two turnovers in a match that saw her eventually awarded the Player of the Match award.
Storm saw out the match comfortably in the final quarter to take a 51-63 victory.
Loughborough Lightning 61 – 45 Strathclyde Sirens
The penultimate match of Round 13 was a match of two halves, with Strathclyde Sirens stunning Lightning in the first half, before the home side struck down their visitors in the second.
With half an hour gone in this game, the Scottish based side Sirens lead by one goal having won the first quarter and drawn the second.
Some key Sirens players that contributed to this strong start included Scottish Thistles’ defensive duo Claire Maxwell and Emily Nicholl.
Maxwell and Nicholl were always on hand in the centre third in their roles as wing defence and goal defence to help bring the ball up through the court to their attack, breaking down the strong Loughborough zonal defence.
Lightning used half-time to re-group and re-entered the court as a different team, firing past Sirens to gain control of the match for the first time and win the third quarter 19-10.
There was just no stopping Lightning from then and they just continued to extend their lead in the final-15 to win 61-45.
Surrey Storm 65 – 49 Leeds Rhinos
For the second time this week Surrey Storm took to court again to finish of Round 13, but they showed no signs of fatigue as they powered past Leeds Rhinos.
Storm took the lead at the first time of asking, cruising the first quarter go into the first break 20-8 to the good.
From then on Storm went on to win the remaining quarters, by smaller margins, but still remaining comfortably in control throughout the game.
England Rose Layla Guscoth did not come to mess around in this one, as she made five interceptions, three deflections, and seven turnovers in a match where she was later awarded the Player of the Match award.
Another international player that deserves recognition for her contribution is Uganda’s Proscovia Peace, who score 40 of Storm’s 65 goals, and now sits top of the leagues goal scorers chart with 530 goals to her name so far this season.