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“Everyone should be very afraid”: London Pulse’s parting shot to Vitality Netball Superleague

Play-off first-timers Pulse narrowly missed out in a low-scoring season finale (Photo: Ben Lumley)

Sam Bird warned Vitality Netball Superleague rivals to be ‘very afraid’ of London Pulse in the future despite ending a historic season with defeat on Grand Final day.

The Copper Box residents were beaten on their home court by Team Bath, who ran out 36-32 winners in a low-scoring third-place play-off.

But with an average age of 22 and a defensive unit to rival any in the league, nay the world, Bird laid down the gauntlet ahead of next season.

“We’ve come from eighth to third and it’s been an amazing season,” said Bird.

“We recruited these girls when they were even younger and they’re still young. You don’t peak in netball until you’re 28 and most of our team is 22.

“Everybody else should be very afraid. We’ll train harder, we’ll work harder, we’ll get better and we are coming back to win this thing next year.”

Pulse defensive starlets Funmi Fadoju and Zara Everitt were in superb form throughout, with the 19-year-old making 11 turnovers and 13 deflections.

Both have made an incredibly strong case for selection in the England squad for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which is named in the coming days.

It was at the offensive end that Pulse found it tougher going, with Olivia Tchine outboxed by experienced Bath duo Layla Guscoth and Phumza Maweni.

Everitt said: “It was a tough battle from the start, it was always going to be like that.

“We had some really good patches and we’re really proud of some of the performances we put out.

“We weren’t consistent enough for all of the game and the last quarter summed it up, it was a very defensive quarter for both teams.

“To see Phumza and Layla on the other side, we were all inspiring each other, it was interception after interception and it’s awesome to play against those guys.”

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