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Vitality Netball Superleague: Celtic Dragons complete league double over Severn Stars

Dragons completed a league double over Severn Stars to leapfrog Melissa Bessell's side in the Vitality Netball Superleague standings

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Highlights of the Vitality Netball Superleague clash between Celtic Dragons and Severn Stars.

Celtic Dragons secured their third victory of the Vitality Netball Superleague season with a 57-51 success over Severn Stars in Cardiff.

Stars were bidding to register back-to-back Superleague wins for the first time since 2019 after overcoming Strathclyde Sirens on Monday, but a blistering third-quarter display from Dragons inspired them to a first home victory of the campaign.

The hosts were without captain Nia Jones for Saturday's showdown, but a player of the match performance from Laura Rudland inspired Dragons to a league double over Melissa Bessell's side.

There was little to separate the sides following an intriguing opening quarter. Dragons twice fought back from two-goal deficits to level, and while Severn Stars failed to capitalise on a series of turnovers, they still led 14-13.

Dannii Titmuss-Morris' side responded magnificently early in the second quarter, reeling off eight of the next nine goals to establish a commanding six-goal cushion, with Rudland, Georgia Rowe and Lefebre Rademan combining to great effect in the attack end.

Lefebre Rademan of Celtic Dragons  (Image credit: Ben Lumley)
Image: Rademan, Rowe and Rudland combined superbly to steer Celtic Dragons to victory

The topsy-turvy nature of the contest continued as Stars responded to reduce the arrears to 29-27 at the interval, with former Silver Fern Cat Tuivaiti producing some magical moments, maintaining her flawless record under the post.

The visitors made a positive start to quarter three to restore parity at 30-30, before Dragons took complete control to open up a commanding 46-34 lead.

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Shaquanda Greene-Noel typified Dragons' defensive tenacity with a series of brilliant interceptions, while the hosts' attacking trio visibly grew in confidence as they took the game away from the shell-shocked Stars.

The visitors threatened an unlikely fightback in the closing stages by cutting the deficit to just five goals, but some fantastic footwork from Rowe raised the roof at the Sports Wales National Centre, alleviating any fears of a dramatic turnaround.

Dragons' third victory of the 2022 season moves them off the bottom and above Stars, providing the perfect preparation ahead of Monday's clash against two-time winners Wasps, who currently occupy eighth spot in the table.

Elsewhere in Round 17, Leeds Rhinos dealt a major blow to Surrey Storm's play-off hopes with a thrilling 49-48 victory at Hull's Allam Sport Centre on Friday.

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Highlights of the Vitality Netball Superleague clash between Leeds Rhinos and Surrey Storm.

Mikki Austin's Storm side made a strong start to lead 18-14 at the end of the opening quarter, but Rhinos completed a dramatic comeback in the closing stages, with Sigrid Burger scoring a last-gasp winner.

Rhinos welcome the unbeaten Manchester Thunder to the First Direct Arena on Sunday, with Thunder targeting a 17th consecutive league victory this season.

Elsewhere, Sirens host top-four chasing Saracens Mavericks, who can move level on points with Team Bath with victory in Glasgow.

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