Wasps Netball 44-57 Loughborough Lightning
Wasps Netball experienced their first ever Vitality Superleague defeat in a 44-57 reverse to Loughborough Lightning at the Ricoh Arena.
More than 1,300 fans came out to see the birth of a netball rivalry in the Midlands and enjoyed an action-packed evening, but the home team trailed throughout the game and were unable to secure a fourth straight victory.
A tough shooting night for Tamsin Greenway’s side saw Loughborough mount a 13 goal lead, in what was a near-perfect evening for the visitors.
Wasps Director of Netball Tamsin Greenway said: “We were always playing catch-up tonight, Loughborough were excellent, they were really structured and I’m sure they will be in the top four at the end of the season.
“We had plenty of opportunities to get back into the game but we left ourselves a lot to do. We had a lot of attempts – but it just wasn’t our night.
“I was impressed with some of the things we are doing out there on the court, but there are clearly some aspects of our game we have to work on and we will make sure we correct those issues in the coming weeks.
“The atmosphere tonight was incredible again, the crowd were fantastic, behind us the whole way and we’re determined to give them all more winning nights here at the Ricoh Arena.”
The high-pace for the game was set from the first quarter, with both teams battling to gain an advantage and retain their unbeaten starts to the season.
Wasps missed a host of shots early on, while at the other end Loughborough goal shooter Peace Proscovia proved clinical when presented with an opportunity.
Proscovia’s clinical shooting pushed the visitors out to an early six goal lead to end the first quarter – with Wasps struggling to fully capitalise on their own chances.
A physical second quarter saw Wasps cut the Loughborough lead to four, with Rachel Dunn restored to her favoured goal shooter position.
Wasps showed signs of a comeback in the third quarter, as Bongi Msomi and Sophia Candappa started to win the mid-court battle but their shooting struggles continued and clinical Proscovia continued to deliver for Loughborough.
In an attempt to overturn the eight-goal deficit going into the final quarter, mistakes became more frequent for Tamsin Greenway’s team – allowing Loughborough to take an eventual 13 goal victory.
The loss sets up another Midlands clash next weekend, when Wasps Netball travel to Worcester to face fellow Superleague newcomers Severn Stars – before returning to the Ricoh Arena against Manchester Thunder on Friday, March 24 (8.00pm centre pass).
Tickets for Wasps Netball vs Manchester Thunder on 24 March start from £10 for adults while under-10s go free, can be purchased from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets.