International Player Watch – The UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague Round 15

Round 15 of the UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague consisted of 5 matches, with Manchester Thunder breaking another scoring record and Team Bath bouncing back from defeat.

Following the ‘Spring Showdown’ at a centralised venue in Birmingham last weekend,  home and away league venues returned in Round 15.

We took a closer look at how the international player in the Superleague got on…

Team Bath 50 – 40 Severn Stars

A strong second half for Team Bath against Severn Stars, saw them return to winning ways following their defeat to Leeds Rhino’s at the Spring Showdown.

Team Bath’s strong defensive duo of Layla Guscoth (England Rose) and Phumza Maweni (South Africa SPAR Protea) made the difference as they worked persistently to get the intercepts, turnovers, and deflections to get their team back into the game.

The win came on a special day for Team Bath, as they also celebrated the career for England Rose and Team Bath legend, Serena Guthrie who recently announced her retirement from the sport.

 Loughborough Lightning 52 – 46 Strathclyde Sirens

Four marginal quarter wins, by no more than 2 goals helped second place Loughborough Lightning beat Strathclyde Sirens at the Sir David Wallace Arena.

Both sides circle defenders were crucial to keeping the match a close contest, for Sirens Emily Nicholl (Scottish Thistle) and Towera Vinkhumbo (Malawi Queen) were instrumental as they stood up to the test making 7 interceptions, 8 deflections and 19 turnovers between them.

However, Lightning’s defensive partnership of England Rose’s Francesca Williams and Alice Harvey was too hard to crack and made sure that their teams hard work wasn’t undone in the final quarter.

Wasps 57 – 88 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder once again broke their Superleague scoring record, as they scored 88 goals against Wasps to continue their unbeaten run in the 2021/2022 season.

It was an all-round masterclass performance from the table toppers, who now have a nine-point lead, and lots of international stars played their part on the day.

Notably, in the shooting circle was England Rose Eleanor Cardwell and Malawi Queen Joyce Mvula, who made no mistake when it came to taking their chances shooting, scoring 48 and 38 goals.

This means that Cardwell and Mvula now sit 5th and 3rd in the leagues shooting charts.

Wasps 57 – 52 Leeds Rhinos

Wasps didn’t let their defeat to the top of the table team phase them, as they took to court again just 24 hours later at their home venue, The Coventry Building Society Arena, and beat Leeds Rhinos.

It wasn’t an easy win for Wasps, who were down by two going into the final-15 minutes and needed a full team surge to pick up the points.

Wasps’ persistence paid off, as pressure from Josie Huckle, Lauren Nicholls and Wales’ Ella Powell-Davies broke down the Rhino’s attack and allowed Wasps to capitalise on every turnover and Rhino’s error to take the lead and win the game.

Huckle now sits 4th in the deflections charts, whilst Wasps 9th in the league.

Celtic Dragons 49 – 52 London Pulse

After securing their second win of the season last weekend, Celtic Dragons came into this clash firing and ready to go, taking it down to the wire with London Pulse.

A win for Pulse was essential to keep their top 4 finish on track, and they didn’t let the strength and fire of Dragons get the better of them as they worked patiently through the court, building as the match went on.

A match-up that no one could take their eyes off in this game was Celtic Dragons and Trinidad and Tobago’s Sahquanda Greene-Noel at Goal Keeper against Pulse and young England Rose shooter, Olivia Tchine.

Greene-Noel managed to keep Tchine to just 4 goals in the first quarter, and despite being on the eventual losing side Green-Noel was awarded the Player of the Match award for her performance.

Coming up…

The next round of the VNSL will start on Saturday 30th April 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.