Wasps and Loughborough pick up victories in Vitality Superleague
Last Updated: 04/02/19 12:08am
Wasps maintained their 100 per cent record at the top of the Vitality Superleague with victory over Surrey Storm, while Loughborough returned to winning ways with a hard-fought triumph over Strathclyde Sirens.
The opening game of Week Four saw Team Bath's clash with Severn Stars called off but on Saturday last year's Grand Finalists picked up a valuable three points.
Wasps maintained their position at the head of the table with a third successive victory, following up their wins over Lightning and London Pulse with a commanding victory over Surrey Storm.
In the third annual playing of the Tom Reseigh Trophy, a game to honour the former Storm Team Manager who passed away in October 2016 following a long battle with cancer, it was Mel Mansfield's champions who took the victory.
Lightning's progress since that defeat at the Copper Box has not been as smooth. Under the guidance of Sara Bayman a much-changed team have struggled for consistency but they recorded a second win from their four games by seeing off Sirens in Loughborough.
Vitality Superleague - Round Four results & fixtures
|Friday||Team Bath||P-P||Severn Stars|
|Loughborough Lightning||60-49||Strathclyde Sirens|
|Monday||Celtic Dragons||v||Saracens Mavericks|
|Manchester Thunder||v||London Pulse||live on Sky Sports Mix|
Well that was a deciding 3rd quarter. Wasps changes shutting down storms attack end. Flanagan on 🔥— Tamsin Greenway (@tamsingreenway) February 2, 2019
Storm put Hughes to bench and Humphrey’s on gave wasps a lot more room which they took full advantage of winning 21-6 🙌🏼🐝 #stormvwasps pic.twitter.com/FBcm0Z07rS
Storm kept the match competitive at Surrey Sports Park, until the back-to-back champions produced a crucial third quarter to pull clear.
A defensive masterclass produced plenty of turnover ball, and with Rachel Dunn in some of the best form of her career they turned a five-goal half-time lead into a 20-goal advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.
Mansfield's team closed out a resounding 70-47, much to the delight of the head coach.
"We knew Storm would be confident this evening after their win against Team Bath, so I'm very pleased to score 70 goals and win like we did," she said.
"I asked the girls to play as a team tonight and they did exactly that and we came out fantastically in the third-quarter.
"It's always good when you make changes like we did at half-time and you see the impact. We have a very strong squad here and we're seeing the benefits of that.
"For us we want to win every quarter even if we are leading on the scoreboard, and it's great that we played hard right to the final whistle."
Having started the season with a heavy defeat to Wasps at Super 10, Lightning have responded well, a 60-49 victory over Sirens means it is now two wins from their last three games for Loughborough.
Lightning were celebrating their own worthy cause, with fans urged to turn up wearing pink in aid of Cancer Research, and the team responded by coming out on top in a thrilling contest.
Ugandan shooter Mary Cholhok was the star for Lightning, but only after a match that ebbed and flowed both and featured plenty of lead changes in the first quarter when the hosts hit back strongly to lead by one.
There was nothing between the teams in the second quarter, a 14-14 scoreline for the 15 minutes meant it was Loughborough that maintained a one goal lead heading into half-time.
Much like Wasps, it was the third quarter that proved decisive for Bayman's team, opening up a seven goal advantage that enabled them to see out the contest, despite a spirited fightback from Sirens.
The visitors closed to within six goals at one stage but Lightning remained calm to chalk up their second home win of the season leave Sirens nursing a third defeat from their four games.
Watch more Vitality Netball Superleague action when Manchester Thunder host London Pulse, live on Sky Sports Mix and Arena from 6.45pm on Monday, February 4. Also, Sky Sports will be showing every game of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup in July.