Loughborough Lightning defeat Team Bath in thrilling Vitality Netball Superleague encounter
Lightning move three points clear at the top of the table ahead of Wasps, and six clear of Manchester Thunder and Team Bath
By Sky Sports Netball
Last Updated: 09/06/18 12:52pm
Loughborough Lightning sealed a nail-biting last second victory over Team Bath to help them continue their unbeaten run in the Vitality Netball Superleague.
With both sides eager to secure a top four place it was Lightning who secured their ninth win in a row on Friday night with a single point victory, winning 43-42.
The Blue and Gold found themselves trailing 37-27 at the end of a third period, but Team Bath - playing their third home game in seven days - refused to accept defeat and stormed back into the contest.
They sliced away at Lightning's lead and had reduced it to one going into the final minute in front of an electric home crowd.
Layla Guscoth forced a turnover to give the hosts a chance to level with just three seconds remaining but the shot rolled around the net and the visitors were able to breathe a mighty sigh of relief.
Our focus now is to recover, regroup, refocus and go again next weekend.
Lightning head coach Anna Carter
"We knew tonight was going to be tough, we knew Bath were going to bring it and make things difficult for us and that we needed to play our best netball. I'm not sure we did that. Bath exposed our weak areas and used them to their advantage especially in that final quarter," admitted Lightning head coach, Anna Carter.
"Tonight was a great opportunity for us to test some of our other players. We had two goal attacks out there tonight who really showed us what they can do and it's great to be able to give them that chance at this stage in the competition. Our focus now is to recover, regroup, refocus and go again next weekend."
Lightning continue to bid for a top two finish which would take them into the semi-finals with a home court advantage when they travel to University of Essex to face fellow top four contenders Benecos Mavericks in the penultimate round of the season.
"It's certainly not all over yet," said Team Bath head coach, Anna Stembridge. "All of the top teams still have to play each other and we are going to come out fighting against Wasps next week.
"I honestly thought it was going to extra-time tonight but just to be able to put ourselves in that position was a credit to the way the girls dug deep and showed their character.
"I was very proud of the way the girls kept going in that last quarter. They were a lot more clinical and we absolutely flooded Lightning with the sheer volume of turnover, but credit to Loughborough for the way they really brought to us in the third quarter."
Team Bath play host to defending champions Wasps in a sell-out home fixture next Friday before visiting fellow top-four contenders Manchester Thunder on Saturday, June 23.
Our live coverage continues on Monday, June 11 when Severn Stars host Sirens live on Sky Sports Mix, channel 121, which is free for all Sky customers, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action from 6.30pm
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