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#VNSL2018 review: Wasps Netball

Round-by-Round Recap

Round 1 – Wasps Netball 68-43 Surrey Storm

A capacity crowd packed the Ericsson Indoor Arena to see the reigning champions begin their Vitality Netball Superleague title defence with a dominant win. Tamsin Greenway’s team led throughout the game and pulled away from the visitors in the second quarter, building a big advantage which eventually led to an impressive opening result.

Round 2 – Severn Stars 52-64 Wasps Netball

It was a frustrating evening for Severn Stars as they lost out to their Midland rivals Wasps Netball. The reigning champions dominated much of the first quarter, building a decisive advantage from which Stars were unable to recover despite strong second and third quarters.

Round 3 – Wasps Netball 69-37 UWS Sirens

UWS Sirens started strongly against the defending champions, capitalising on a few mistakes from the home side to limit Wasps Netball to a four-goal advantage at the end of the first quarter. Tamsin Greenway’s team pushed on with a classy display, creating turnover after turnover and limiting Sirens’ attacking options. 

Round 4 – benecosMavericks 52-66 Wasps Netball

Wasps Netball extended their unbeaten start to the season with a win at Essex University, home of previously unbeaten benecosMavericks. Wasps built an early five-goal lead but Mavericks showed flashes of defensive excellence and threatened to get back into game. The defending champions showed good composure to quickly re-assert their authority though.

Round 5 – Loughborough Lightning 49-60 Wasps Netball

Wasps Netball survived a late Loughborough Lightning comeback to secure a well-earned away win against last season’s Vitality Superleague runners-up. Tamsin Greenway’s team led by 17 at one stage but the hosts fought back and reduced the lead to six, before Wasps pulled away in the final minutes.

Round 6 – Wasps Netball 74-38 Team Northumbria

Team Northumbria drew first blood but it was Wasps Netball who raced into an 8-1 lead before running riot to lead 40-15 at half time. Wasps continued to pile the pressure on Team Northumbria and took full advantage when their opponents were reduced to six players, running away as comfortable victors.

Round 7 – Wasps Netball 74-32 Celtic Dragons

A dominant defensive performance led Wasps Netball to victory against Celtic Dragons at the Ricoh Arena with the reigning champions limiting Dragons to a record-low tally for goals scored in a Vitality Netball Superleague game in 2018.

Round 8 – Wasps Netball 61-44 Team Bath Netball

Wasps Netball secured a comfortable victory on their return to Vitality Netball Superleague action. Commonwealth Games gold medal winners Natalie Haythornthwaite and Jade Clarke returned for Wasps, with England teammate Kadeen Corbin taking to the court for the visitors at the Ricoh Arena. The game provided the hosts with a ninth successive victory.

Round 9 – Wasps Netball 64-60 Manchester Thunder

Wasps Netball secured a dramatic win to maintain their perfect record. The league leaders faced their toughest challenge of the season so far as the visitors were within one goal until the final minute but a flurry of late goals pushed the black-and-gold advantage to four. 

Round 10 – Wasps Netball 54-43 Severn Stars

Wasps Netball made it seven successive wins to start the season despite being without two of their star players against Severn Stars. Tamsin Greenway’s team ran out 54-43 winners in a hard fought game against their West Midlands rivals.

Round 11 – Wasps Netball 57-50 benecosMavericks

Kat Ratnapala’s team fought back from a six-goal half-time deficit to level in the third quarter but they faltered over the closing 15 minutes as Wasps Netball secured their 15th win of the season to sign off their home campaign.

Round 12 – UWS Sirens 45-59 Wasps Netball

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the opening exchanges, as they matched each other goal-for-goal in a high-intensity first quarter. UWS Sirens kept pace with the league leaders throughout the first half. Wasps Netball pulled away from their hosts in the third quarter. 

Round 13 – Surrey Storm 36-63 Wasps Netball

Wasps Netball took home the Tom Reseigh Trophy with a comfortable win. Tamsin Greenway’s side controlled the game throughout – pulling away from their opponents in the second half – to secure their 12th successive victory.

Round 14 – Wasps Netball 47-60 Loughborough Lightning

It was a determined Loughborough Lightning team that quashed Wasps’ hopes of an unbeaten season. Lightning were scrappy to start but quickly found their rhythm. Impressive defensive pressure from Shamera Sterling and Vicki Oyesola caused Wasps problems in attack and with the ever-reliable Peace Proscovia down the opposite end the away side grew their lead.

Round 15 – Manchester Thunder 53-42 Wasps Netball

Manchester Thunder stormed to victory over defending champions Wasps at the Manchester Arena. Thunder took the win after an energy-sapping four quarters of intense netball to inflict a second defeat in a row on Wasps. The Black and Yellows were strong across court, but Malawian shooter Joyce Mvula was particularly impressive, and was deservedly named player of the match.

Round 16 – Celtic Dragons 42-83 Wasps Netball

Wasps showed all the class that led them to Grand Final glory in 2017 as they launched themselves into the contest and, despite a good lead at half-time, they weren’t content to cruise to victory. Celtic Dragons put everything into the performance, but to little avail as the visitors took a well-deserved victory.

Round 17 – Team Bath Netball 40-58 Wasps Netball

A professional performance from visitors Wasps in front of more than 1300 spectators at the Team Bath Arena saw them emerge victorious from a feisty contest. Wasps advantage overall came from some intense play around the circle feeding into the metronomic shooting of Rachel Dunn. 

Round 18 – Team Northumbria 45-60 Wasps Netball

Despite Wasps Netball already guaranteed top spot, last season’s play-off winners showed no mercy on their opponents – with the attacking trio of Tamsin Greenway, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Rachel Dunn increasing their advantage as the game wore on. Victory meant Wasps have won 16 of their 18 games in the regular season – two more victories than last season.

Semi-Final – Wasps Netball 54-39 Team Bath Netball

Wasps Netball secured their spot in the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final with a resounding win. The reigning champions endured a slow start but took control in the second quarter to build a big advantage. Wasps threatened to run-away with the game but Team Bath stayed in touch, applying defensive pressure from the front through Kadeen Corbin.

Final – Wasps Netball 55-51 Loughborough Lightning

Wasps Netball took home the Vitality Netball Superleague trophy for a second year in a row following a nail-biting win against Loughborough Lightning. The game was hard-fought throughout, with neither team leading by more than six goals at any point – but a series of late turnovers saw Wasps take victory at the Copper Box Arena in London.

Squad

Halimat Adio, Sophia Candappa, Jade Clarke, Rachel Dunn, George Fisher, Amy Flanagan, Tamsin Greenway, Lucy Harris, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Josie Huckle, Hannah Knights, Sam May, Renske Stoltz, Monique Thompson, Fran Williams.

British Fast5 All-Stars Championship

Wasps Netball will be looking to add British Fast5 All-Stars Championship glory to their 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague title.

The best of British netball will be showcased in the short form of the game on Saturday 13th October from 1-6pm.

Wasps took part in the 2017 edition and made it to the semi-finals after winning two (Severn Stars 24-28 Wasps Netball and Wasps Netball 34-21 Surrey Storm) and losing one (Loughborough Lightning 35-23 Wasps Netball) of their double elimination stage matches.

But they narrowly missed out on making the final, losing 31-27 to eventual winners Loughborough Lightning.

Get tickets now and join the fun at the Copper Box Arena!

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Amy Flanagan and Sam May renew Wasps Netball contracts

Experienced Wasps Netball duo Amy Flanagan and Sam May have renewed their contracts ahead of the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
The pair have re-joined Wasps as the team targets a third successive title in the upcoming campaign.
The move will see both play under new Head Coach Mel Mansfield at the Ricoh Arena.
Amy Flanagan, who excels at Wing Defence or Centre, is looking forward to linking back up with the team for another season and working with Mansfield.
“It’s really great to be playing for Wasps again next season. My teammates, the staff, and the fans have made it a fantastic two years for me, and I’m excited to get started again,” said Flanagan.
“We’ve got a great support network behind the scenes and the crowds that gather to see us play make such a difference. I’m extremely excited by the plans for the coming season and have everything in place to be successful once again.
“I’ve known Mel since I was 18. She has an amazing ability to get the best out of you, but also cares for you as a person. She treats your wellbeing with as much importance as your performances.
“It was amazing to come away with the title again last season and I’m looking forward to getting back on court and challenging again.”
Defensive star Sam May was joint fifth for interceptions last season and is confident the team can compete for another title.
“It feels really good to be returning again this season and I’m looking forward to getting back at it,” said May.
“The challenge this season is to make it three titles in a row. The other sides will be stronger and determined to stop us from winning, so we will have to continue to develop as a team to be successful again.
“It’s great to see Mel in charge. She’s been here since day one, so it feels perfectly natural to have her as head coach.
“Mel and the rest of the Wasps staff have helped me to learn and play my best, so it was an easy decision to stay here.”
Wasps head coach Mel Mansfield added: “I have worked with Sam for a number of years and I am delighted to welcome her and Amy back to Wasps as we look to challenge again.
“Both players are extremely powerful and win a lot of ball, truly our interception queens.
“Sam played a lot of Goal Keeper last year and made a real impact there, but she is still lethal in the Wing Defence position and gives me a lot of options.
“Amy flies for the ball and makes some insane turnovers. She constantly causes trouble for our opposition and can attack too. She is instrumental in our through-court play and her versatility at taking the Centre bib makes her a huge asset to our team.”
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#VNSL2018 review: Loughborough Lightning

Round-by-Round Recap

Round 1 – Loughborough Lightning 55-44 UWS Sirens

UWS Sirens brought with them a few familiar faces in Loughborough University Alumni Vanessa Walker and Ella Gibbons, along with ex-England powerhouse Sara Bayman. With key signings such as those for 2018, an element of the unknown circled the match, leaving fans eager to see what was in store.

Round 2 – Team Northumbria 43-65 Loughborough Lightning

An initially tight clash was decided during 15 minutes as Loughborough Lightning claimed the third period 21-7 to open up a 51-34 lead. Time and time again Team Northumbria forced their rivals to surrender possession – only to give up the ball themselves and toss away the chance to reduce the deficit.

Round 3 – Loughborough Lightning 69-45 Celtic Dragons

Stepping out in front of an 800 strong crowd, Lightning used their home court advantage to take an early lead, securing the first 6 points of the match within three minutes. Stunned, Dragons were forced to quickly reconcile their losses and prevent the powerful home side from gaining any more advantage and did so with a courageous fight.

Round 4 – Loughborough Lightning 55-56 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder ruined Loughborough Lightning’s perfect start to the season. Thunder didn’t start well and fell six goals down in the opening quarter, but they gradually found their rhythm and chipped away at Lightning’s lead. After trailing for most of the first half, Thunder forced the advantage in the third and didn’t look back, snuffing out any chance of a comeback for Lightning.

Round 5 – Loughborough Lightning 49-60 Wasps Netball

Wasps Netball survived a late Loughborough Lightning comeback to secure a well-earned away win against last season’s Vitality Superleague runners-up. Tamsin Greenway’s team led by 17 at one stage but the hosts fought back and reduced the lead to six, before Wasps pulled away in the final minutes.

Round 6 – Loughborough Lightning 53-51 Surrey Storm

The home team trailed by just one point going into the final 60 seconds of the game however two terrific turnovers and a centre pass saw them score the three vital goals needed to secure the win, leaving the audience gripped to the edge of their seats until the buzzer sounded.

Round 7 – Loughborough Lightning 54-59 Team Bath Netball

Team Bath took a one-goal lead in the first quarter and were ahead 31-29 at half-time. There were moments in the game when the Blue and Gold squad surged ahead only for Loughborough to battle back in a thrilling contest. A strong third quarter, which Team Bath finished with a six-goal lead, ultimately seemed to make the difference.

Round 8 – Loughborough Lightning 54-41 benecosMavericks

benecosMavericks flew out the traps to lead at the end of the opening 15 minutes, but a refreshed Loughborough Lightning side found their rhythm early in the second quarter, moving the ball through the court with ease. They upped the pressure in the third and fourth quarters to pull away in a physical encounter.

Round 9 – Severn Stars 43-58 Loughborough Lightning

After two months of matches on the road and a Commonwealth Games break, Severn Stars were after their first home win. But it was not to be as disappointing opening and final quarters left Stars unable to make up the deficit created despite almost matching the opposition in the remainder of the match.

Round 10 – Loughborough Lightning 65-45 Team Northumbria

On a blisteringly hot day, both sides kick started the match with a fire amongst them, using the first 5 minutes to clock up as many points on the board as possible. The score went on fairly even until eight minutes in where the home side began to ramp up the gears and push past opposition Team Northumbria.

Round 11 – Manchester Thunder 56-62 Loughborough Lightning

Manchester Thunder slipped to a disappointing defeat at Belle Vue. It was a frustrating performance from Thunder, who were out-thought by Lightning in key moments and wasted turnover opportunities in the rare occasions they came.

Round 12 – Celtic Dragons 38-66 Loughborough Lightning

It was a great occasion as Celtic Dragons welcomed Sky Sports to the Sport Wales National Centre Arena for the first time this season. The Green Army looked for win number three of the season but an in-form Loughborough Lightning proved too strong.

Round 13 – UWS Sirens 45-62 Loughborough Lightning

Loughborough Lightning continued their upward trajectory as they got the better of Scottish side UWS Sirens in Glasgow. After a cagey opening 15, which generally went goal-for-goal, last season’s table-toppers took control.

Round 14 – Wasps Netball 47-60 Loughborough Lightning

It was a determined Loughborough Lightning team that quashed Wasps’ hopes of an unbeaten season. Lightning were scrappy to start but quickly found their rhythm. Impressive defensive pressure from Shamera Sterling and Vicki Oyesola caused Wasps problems in attack and with the ever-reliable Peace Proscovia down the opposite end the away side grew their lead.

Round 15 – Loughborough Lightning 59-45 Severn Stars

An impressive first half performance at the Leicester Arena saw Severn Stars shock the hosts, going in front in the first minute and holding it until the final seconds of the second quarter. But a combative Loughborough Lightning took the game away from Stars in the third quarter, building an impressive lead from which Sam Bird’s side couldn’t recover.

Round 16 – Team Bath Netball 42-43 Loughborough Lightning

A sensational final-quarter fightback was not quite enough to salvage a result for Team Bath Netball as Loughborough Lightning held on for a single-goal victory. The hosts found themselves trailing 37-27 at the end of a third period but refused to accept defeat. Layla Guscoth forced a turnover to give the hosts a chance to level with just three seconds remaining but the shot hit the ring.

Round 17 – benecosMavericks 51-62 Loughborough Lightning

A dominant run either side of half-time was enough to give in-form Loughborough Lightning victory. An 18-5 run in favour of the relentless away team all but ended the resistance of their hosts. Every time benecosMavericks threatened a comeback, Lightning responded to pull away again.

Round 18 – Surrey Storm 41-63 Loughborough Lightning

The scene was set, the final game for Surrey Storm’s 2018 season ending at the biggest venue yet, The Copper Box Arena. Despite the home side’s hard work, the guests found their rhythm with intricate passing and movement undoing the duck egg blue resistance.

Semi-Final – Loughborough Lightning 59-50 Manchester Thunder   

Loughborough Lightning secured their place in the 2018 Grand Final for the second year in a row after an impressive encounter with Manchester Thunder. The win came as Lightning’s 12th in a row, having not lost a single match since the Commonwealth break.

Final – Wasps Netball 55-51 Loughborough Lightning

Loughborough Lightning claimed the runners-up spot after just falling short in the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final. Heading into the final quarter trailing by three, Lightning stormed back and levelled the scores with just nine minutes on the clock. Far from relaxed, Wasps continued to use their defensive prowess to shut down Lightning’s attack and push ahead themselves in the final minutes. 

Squad

Rebekah Airey, Susie Armstrong, Ella Clark, Beth Cobden, Britt Coleman, Chloe Essam, Brie Grierson, Rosie Harris, Hannah Joseph, Lauren Nicholls, Vicki Oyesola, Nat Panagarry, Peace Proscovia, Shamera Sterling.

British Fast5 All-Stars Championship

Will Loughborough Lightning defend their title in the 2018 edition of the British Fast5 All-Stars Championship?

In last year’s inaugural competition, Lightning beat Team Bath 35-33 in a gripping final which went down to the wire at The O2.

It was a fitting finale to a non-stop evening of thrilling netball as South African shooter and tournament MVP Renske Stoltz scored the winning five-pointer with just 20 seconds left on the clock.

Secure your tickets to see the best of British netball on Saturday 13th October from 1-6pm at the Copper Box Arena!

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#VNSL2018 review: Manchester Thunder

Round-by-Round Recap

Round 1 – Severn Stars 47-48 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder snatched a dramatic, last-gasp win in their season opener. The home side had led from the first whistle in front of a record number of fans at the University of Worcester Arena and at the half-way point were in front by 10 points. But Thunder managed to close the gap and as the clock counted down Severn Stars succumbed to a 47-48 defeat.

Round 2 – Manchester Thunder 60-43 UWS Sirens

UWS Sirens were dogged and determined as they produced some special phases of play to keep in touch in the first quarter. Manchester Thunder maintained a high-tempo strategy and pounced on any loose balls. The game ultimately petered out with Thunder given the luxury of using all 12 players as they sealed the win.

Round 3 – Manchester Thunder 53-46 Team Northumbria

Manchester Thunder left it late but it was a scintillating performance in the end to steal the victory. A dominant first quarter from Thunder gave them a convincing lead which they managed to hold throughout the match, despite dropping a gear in the second and third quarters.

Round 4 – Loughborough Lightning 55-56 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder ruined Loughborough Lightning’s perfect start to the season. Thunder didn’t start well and fell six goals down in the opening quarter, but they gradually found their rhythm and chipped away at Lightning’s lead. After trailing for most of the first half, Thunder forced the advantage in the third and didn’t look back, snuffing out any chance of a comeback for Lightning.

Round 5 – Manchester Thunder 68-48 Celtic Dragons

Celtic Dragons, buoyed by their loud and proud away support, enjoyed some good periods of play as they challenged Manchester Thunder right up until the final whistle. But the Black and Yellows were simply ruthless and slick in patches as they took the win.

Round 6 – Team Bath Netball 51-60 Manchester Thunder

An inspired Manchester Thunder saw-off Team Bath. From the outset Thunder were intense and clinical, especially in attack, and were not fazed by coming up against one of the best defences in the league. Team Bath Netball battled hard and enjoyed periods of dominance but they had no answer to Thunder’s fluidity and pressure, most notably in the second half.

Round 7 – Manchester Thunder 49-52 benecosMavericks

Manchester Thunder slumped to a loss at the Thunderdome. It was the first defeat of the season for the Black and Yellows, but a deserved win for the visitors, who punished Thunder’s inability to take advantage of any momentum they managed to force.

Round 8 – Manchester Thunder 62-57 Surrey Storm

It was a scrappy start to the game, with neither team really taking the initiative. The sides traded the lead, but it was Surrey Storm who finished the first period in control, edging into a mini lead. A second half surge from Thunder though helped them build a six-goal lead in the third quarter and Storm were unable to pull it back.

Round 9 – Wasps Netball 64-60 Manchester Thunder

Wasps Netball secured a dramatic win to maintain their perfect record. The league leaders faced their toughest challenge of the season so far as the visitors were within one goal until the final minute but a flurry of late goals pushed the black-and-gold advantage to four. 

Round 10 – UWS Sirens 42-64 Manchester Thunder

UWS Sirens held-off Manchester Thunder for long periods – they were brilliant in pockets, especially in attack, with Shantal Slater bringing the flair. Sirens stayed in touch, with only a four goal gap to bridge (24-28) at half time, but their resistance faded as the game wore on and Thunder eventually ran out comfortable winners.

Round 11 – Manchester Thunder 56-62 Loughborough Lightning   

Manchester Thunder slipped to a disappointing defeat at Belle Vue. It was a frustrating performance from Thunder, who were out-thought by Lightning in key moments and wasted turnover opportunities in the rare occasions they came.

Round 12 – Team Northumbria 51-58 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder escaped a scare, calling on what little was left in the tank in the closing minutes to see out the win, after a stubborn Team Northumbria refused to give up. Thunder’s experience under pressure told, notably from a wonderful Skingsley intercept as snatched the ball out of the air to give Thunder the catalyst to force an unassailable lead.

Round 13 – Manchester Thunder 55-49 Severn Stars   

It was a scorching hot evening in Manchester but it was a slow burner on court as Thunder put in a professional performance against Severn Stars. It was composed and controlled from the Black and Yellows but Stars were a real test, and asked questions of them in all areas of the court, but Thunder did enough to win in front of a sold out home crowd.

Round 14 – Celtic Dragons 38-78 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder flew out the traps with five unanswered goals to stun Celtic Dragons, who lacked fluency. With the game seemingly gone after the half-time interval, it was time for Dragons to restore pride to their performance and the third quarter saw a marked improvement with a tighter quarter score.

Round 15 – Manchester Thunder 53-42 Wasps Netball

Manchester Thunder stormed to victory over defending champions Wasps at the Manchester Arena. Thunder took the win after an energy-sapping four quarters of intense netball to inflict a second defeat in a row on Wasps. The Black and Yellows were strong across court, but Malawian shooter Joyce Mvula was particularly impressive, and was deservedly named player of the match.

Round 16 – benecosMavericks 47-52 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder held off several comebacks from their hosts to return home with the points in the bag. Thunder Head Coach Karen Greig said: “Our full-court defensive effort was fantastic again, but we just didn’t reward ourselves as much as we would have liked. We were put under immense pressure at times but we maintained our composure at key points which saw us take the win.”

Round 17 – Surrey Storm 46-70 Manchester Thunder

Both sides looked sharp from the offset, Manchester Thunder making the most of their possessions to take a 12-21 lead after the opening quarter. It was in the penultimate quarter where the match was truly put to bed – ruthless attacking and unyielding defence left Storm chasing the game. 

Round 18 – Manchester Thunder 54-47 Team Bath Netball

Manchester Thunder ground out an important win over Team Bath at a colourful Thunderdome. It was a game that had a bit of every shade, from red-hot swift attacking play to resolute defensive work and purple patches for both teams. Bath gave as good as they got, continuously coming back every time Thunder threatened to extend their lead.  

Semi-Final – Loughborough Lightning 59-50 Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder fell just short of a place in the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final. The Black and Yellows were gutsy and determined but Lightning weathered anything their visitors could throw at them. It was a pulsating semi-final, with Lightning repeatedly threatening to pull away but Thunder refused to let them get out of sight, defending doggedly and scoring difficult chances.

Squad

Kerry Almond, Danielle Bloomfield, Amy Carter, Amy Clinton, Taylor Cullen, Emma Dovey, Rebecca Hoult, Liana Leota, Sophie Morgan, Joyce Mvula, Caroline O’Hanlon, Ally Thomas, Kathryn Turner, Abby Tyrrell, Bea Skingsley.

British Fast5 All-Stars Championship

Manchester Thunder will take part in the 2018 edition of the British Fast5 All-Stars Championship on Saturday 13th October from 1-6pm.

The Black and Yellows will be out to make at least the semi-finals this time around after two defeats (Manchester Thunder 31-42 Loughborough Lightning and Manchester Thunder 9-24 Severn Stars) in the 2017 edition.

Secure your seats at the Copper Box Arena now!