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Joyce Mvula shoots against Team Bath

Four teams and only two spaces up for grabs: who will make it to the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final?

The semi-final playoffs take place on Friday evening as Manchester Thunder host Team Bath Netball at 6.30pm followed by Loughborough Lightning taking on London Pulse at 8pm.

And this year’s Grand Final at the Copper Box Arena is set to be the biggest one yet.

Manchester Thunder v Team Bath, Friday, 6.30pm, Belle Vue Arena, live on Sky Sports – tickets available here

It’s a battle of the undefeated versus the most successful in history.

Manchester Thunder have won all 20 of their regular-season matches this year, breaking the all-time Superleague record of most goals scored in a single game – 88.

Storming towards their play-off match, boss Karen Grieg said: “People say that it’s good to lose because you learn from losing which you absolutely do but I think you also build some resilience in being challenged by those close games and being able to pull those results out of the bag.

“That’s something that’s going to happen in those semi-finals so the resilience that the team has shown has been fantastic across the year.”

Team Bath lost out on the title last year to Loughborough Lightning and secured their play-off spot with one week to go.

The side put up a fight in their Round 6 match against Thunder but ultimately lost 57-53 at home before a more decisive loss on the road.

Head coach Anna Stembridge will be looking to make a mark in her last-ever weekend with the club before stepping down as boss.

She said: “When you make finals, the slate is wiped clean. The gloves are off, it’s knockouts. No matter what’s happened before, it’s all about looking forward.

“You can take confidence from having played or having beaten teams that are in that group, but ultimately the pressure is on, the eyes are on you and it really matters because it’s knock-out netball.”

Loughborough Lightning v London Pulse, Friday, 8pm, Sir David Wallace Arena, live on Sky Sports – tickets available here

The reigning champions versus the history makers – the second semi-final will see experience against youth.

Loughborough secured their play-off place early, with only two losses in the regular season, both against Thunder.

But as the 2021 champions of the Vitality Netball Superleague, they will have pressure on their backs leading into their semi-final setup.

Head coach Vic Burgess said: “The girls worked hard last season to put them in a position where they’re champions and they want to be in a position where they’re champions.

“You’ve then put a target on your back but you earn that target because you’re winners so the girls have been really relishing that and taking that challenge really positively.”

London Pulse qualified for their first-ever VNSL playoffs with a storming season of success.

Sam Bird’s team may have an average age of 22-years-old but the talent that oozes from each player has caused a sensation within the netball community.

She said: “It’s a testament to our performance group for enabling the club to be in this position – I’m very proud of them.

“We want to really shine in the play-offs and nobody can deny, whatever the results are in the play-offs, that this is a team that is going to continue to grow and improve, and we’re still improving now.

“If we get our timing right, we might just cause a couple of surprises.”

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