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Rachel Dunn holds the ball

Rachel Dunn shot Wasps to victory in Round 16. (Image: Ben Lumley)

It was a bumper Bank Holiday weekend of netball in Round 16, with eight matches played across four days.

There were yet more twists in the race for the Play-Offs, while there were big wins for Wasps and Severn Stars too.

Here’s what we learned with just four rounds remaining.

Lightning secure Play-Off spot 

Loughborough Lightning made sure they’d be joining Manchester Thunder in the Play-Offs with a victory over 59-51 victory away to Saracens Mavericks on Monday.

It was a second win of the long weekend after their 71-56 triumph over Leeds Rhinos on Friday to put them on 45 points from a possible 48 so far this season, with only Thunder defeating the reigning champions, 66-61 in March. 

Ella Clark continued her fine form at goal shooter in place of Mary Cholhok, shooting 91 goals over the two games.

Lightning can now look ahead to the Play-Offs with games to spare as they look to retain their crown.

Pulse keep the pace 

London Pulse’s bid to finish in the Play-Offs for the first time ever was boosted by a 53-38 win away at Severn Stars on Saturday.

Sam Bird’s young side kept up their fine form, with Olivia Tchine, Sacha McDonald, and Alicia Scholes all in fine form in attack.

There was also the added boost of the return of the imperious Funmi Fadoju at goal defence, and the 19-year-old made an immediate impact with two intercepts and six deflections.

Pulse now need a maximum of three wins from their last four games to ensure they extend their season and have a chance at the title.

Wasps moving on up 

It has been an up and down season for Wasps, but they earned a big victory 65-52 victory over Surrey Storm on Sunday.

It was Wasps’ fifth win of the season and lifted them into the top eight, just six points behind Storm.

Rachel Dunn shot a huge 45 goals for the home side, with Lucy Parize adding 20 from goal attack as Wasps made it two wins in a row, and will look to make it three as they take on Celtic Dragons next week.

Play-Off race down to the wire 

While Thunder and Lightning have already booked their tickets for the Play-Offs, and Pulse have a small amount of breathing room, fourth-place is still wide open as we head into the final few games.

Team Bath currently sit in the final Play-Off spot as they edged Mavericks 50-49 in a crucial six-pointer on Friday evening.

Bath produced a huge final quarter to pip Mavs and move three points clear of their rivals.

Mavericks then suffered another blow with defeat to Lightning, while Bath also fell to unbeaten Thunder, meaning the race remains as tight as ever.

Surrey Storm are not out of contention yet either, sitting three points further back, though their bid took a blow with defeat to Wasps.

Their match against Mavericks in Round 18 will be crucial to keeping their hopes alive.

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