Loughborough Lightning managed to get their revenge on Team Northumbria last night with a convincing 20-goal victory.
After losing by one goal at the hands of Northumbria in the reverse fixture, Lightning put in a classy performance and were able to bring on some younger squad members.
Read the Lightning match report below:
Lightning hosted Team Northumbria in the Sir David Wallace Arena, where they enjoyed a 61 – 41 win in front of an electric home crowd.
The last time Lightning and Northumbria met was away, where Northumbria took the win of 24-30. Lightning had an unfortunate result against Manchester Thunder on Saturday, the first fixture of their double-header, where they lost 61-51.
Lightning headed out to the loudest home crowd so far this season. Natalie Panagarry took first centre pass, with Northumbria taking possession straight away through an interception. The first five minutes were full of errors as the ball left the court multiple times. The ball was soon back to Lightning hands, with Panagarry commanding the action. Northumbria took the first goal of the game. Hannah Joseph was on great form for the first quarter, and Peace Proscovia would put away Lightning’s first of the game following some fantastic inter-link play. Vanessa Walker found herself in a physical position between the Northumbria defensive players.
Captain Ama Agbeze held discipline in what became a physical quarter, with Jo Trip showing fantastic defensive skill in the shooting circle. Lightning took an early lead at 5-2, with Northumbria finding enormous difficulty with Lightning’s defensive players Trip and Agbeze. Northumbria enjoyed numerous interceptions throughout the game, which highlighted Lightning’s ability to score with a small amount of possession. Walker had some fantastic plays in the later part of the quarter and showed great chemistry with Proscovia. Lauren Massey was on at WD as Lauren Nicholls rested on the bench after suffering an injury in their last game. Northumbria’s GK was cautioned for contact with two minutes to go in the quarter. A huge longball from Walker to Proscovia sealed the score at the end of the first quarter, 15-8 to Lightning.
Panagarry kicked off the second quarter, repeating the first quarter as Northumbria intercepted. Trip earned back the ball and soon possession was wavering quickly between the two teams. Northumbria’s physicality upped in the second quarter, with Lightning struggling to avoid contact calls. Proscovia soon put away a goal for Lightning to secure a five-goal lead. Panagarry, Massey and Joseph once again showed some impressive interlinking plays in the first five minutes of the quarter. Panagarry had a huge charge down in the fourth minute preventing a Northumbria offensive play. Trip’s defensive prowess was key in keeping Northumbria down as Lightning stormed ahead with a six-goal lead.
Northumbria were soon on the attack, with the physical nature of the game leading to some huge contact hits. They managed to close down the gap to a three-goal lead by Lightning with some great defensive plays. Lightning’s strength in defence prevented Northumbria from causing too much damage, keeping them at arms length for the remainder of the quarter. Panagarry handled the physicality of the centre third with great composure as her opposite players put her under huge pressure. Lightning were at a ten-goal lead with no signs of slowing down.
HT: Loughborough Lightning 29 – 18 Team Northumbria
Northumbria took first centre pass, with Massey quick to mount pressure on the Northumbria offensive players. The physicality of the game seemed to have improved after the first half was plagued by contact calls. Joseph constantly fed Proscovia with the ball, allowing Lightning to capitalise on their possession. In the fifth minute, tensions seemed to heat up as Northumbria struggled with a lack of discipline against the confident Lightning side. Spurred on by a noisy home crowd, Lightning held on to their ten-goal lead for much of the third quarter. Massey had a stand-out performance, finding her feet after a quiet first half with some dynamic plays. With five minutes to go, Lightning led 38-26. Northumbria seemed lacklustre in their defensive plays, with Lightning improving their lead every minute.
The fourth quarter began 43-30 to Lightning, with Northumbria seeming to have lost their composure. Airey came on to replace Trip, with Corbin coming on for Walker and Coleman replacing Proscovia. Coleman was the first to score in the last quarter, and soon Lightning’s domination over Northumbria became apparent once more. Airey proved herself a valuable asset at GK as her opposite player struggled to score against her. Corbin soon warmed up and demonstrated her dynamic playing style. Lightning would take a sixteen-goal lead over Northumbria in the fourth minute of the quarter.
The home side seemed only to improve as Airey and Agbeze demonstrated their skills in defence, with Massey and Panagarry working well in the centre third to provide Corbin and Coleman with the ball. Joseph was replaced by Campbell, with coach Karen Atkinson able to provide her substitutes with game time. Agbeze allowed no room for error by her Northumbria opposite, and Coleman put away the goal that secured a twenty-goal lead for Lightning. The pace of the game was all purple as Northumbria’s resolve seemed to weaken. Airey had a great interception, feeding Massey the ball who put away a longball to the offensive players. After a fantastic performance infront of an impressive home crowd, Lightning stamped out Northumbria to win 61-41.
FT: Loughborough Lightning 61 – 41 Team Northumbria
Player of the Match Peace Proscovia had this to say:
“Im really excited to have played infront of this home crowd, and they really lifted me when I am down; I say every second, I have to do them proud, I have to do this, they are the reason I perform. The team was highly motivated today to win this game because we were looking forward to a top-four which we cant make now. The only thing is to work hard and look forward to the next season, that’s what we are looking forward to.”
Coach Karen Atkinson also commented:
“Pleased! I think we put a lot of demons to bed for some of the girls, not making it to the final four is massively devastating for us and also having played against this team and probably performed quite poorly and didn’t deserve to win the last time, I think it was really good to get four consistent quarters out there”
We have some really exciting young talent here at Loughborough Lightning, the early part of our season, just some of the results we were having just didn’t always allow them to get that exposure, but yeah, massively pleased and also proud of them in terms of how they stepped up, but a real credit to the guys that are out there for the first half, our first three quarters, who set that platform and enabled them to come out and play.”
GK – Jo Trip
GD – Ama Agbeze ©
WD – Lauren Massey
C – Natalie Panagarry
WA – Hannah Joseph
GA – Vanessa Walker
GS – Peace Proscovia