Wasps Netball secured a dramatic 64-60 win against Manchester Thunder to maintain their perfect season record.
The league leaders faced their toughest challenge this year as the visitors were within one goal until the final minute.
The victory means Tamsin Greenway’s team have now beaten every opponent in the Vitality Netball Superleague this season and top the table with 10 successive wins.
Netball director Greenway praised her side for coming through the toughest of tests against second-placed Thunder.
“This was a really good win. It was a test right from the start and I was very proud of how the team came through,” she said.
“Thunder never give up and never back down. They were exceptional tonight, so to come away with the win shows what we are capable of to.
“We wanted a high pressure game and it needed a top team performance to come through. George Fisher was in brilliant form – she is always improving as a player.
“It shows what we can do when we are challenged all over the court and matches like this will help us prepare for the Final Four at the end of the season, which we hope to reach.”
The visitors opened the game strongly applying pressure and forcing the black-and-golds into an uncharacteristically slow start.
Thunder’s Malawian shooter Joyce Mvula looked confident around the net, with Rachel Dunn and Fisher forced to maintain high shooting percentages in the opening stages in order to match her efforts.
It was a real battle in both circles as attackers jostled for possession.
A last-second goal from Thunder halted Wasps’ late rally and meant the home side trailed after 15 minutes for the first time this season.
It took three quick-fire goals at the start of the second quarter from sharpshooter Fisher to give the hosts their first lead.
The 19-year-old starred as the hosts then opened up a five-goal advantage, only then to be pegged back by some sloppy midcourt play.
A flying interception and acrobatic pass from Amy Flanagan galvanised the home crowd, Fisher scoring from the resulting pass and securing a two goal half-time advantage.
Jade Clarke then orchestrated Wasps’ play at the start of the second half as the hosts upped the intensity and forced attacking errors from Manchester.
But Thunder regained a foothold, reining in their opponents to only trail by one goal going into the final quarter.
The sides then matched each other goal-for-goal until the visitors missed a chance to take the lead by failing to capitalise on an interception.
With two minutes to play the hosts therefore led by one thanks to a series of defensive stops from captain Hannah Knights.
And a flurry of late goals pushed the black-and-gold advantage to four goals to leave Wasps victorious by a 64-60 margin.
Wasps’ next home fixture sees them face Loughborough Lightning on Saturday, May 26 (7.00pm centre-pass).
Tickets for Wasps Netball vs Loughborough Lightning on May 26 are available from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets.
Player of the match: Hannah Knights
Wasps starting seven: GK Sam May; GD Hannah Knights; WD Amy Flanagan; C Jade Clarke; WA Natalie Haythornthwaite; GA Rachel Dunn; GS George Fisher
Used Substitutes: Sophia Candappa (WA); Francesca Williams (GD)
Manchester Thunder starting seven: GK Kerry Almond; GD Emma Dovey; WD Amy Carter; C Caroline Hanlon; WA Liana Leota; GA Kathryn Almond; GS Joyce Mvula