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Team Bath Netball cheer on their side

Team Bath Netball

From fierce comebacks to some show stopping defence, Round Four of the 2023 Netball Super League had everything.

Manchester Thunder, Severn Stars and Team Bath all got back to winning ways with some impressive attacking performances whilst Surrey Storm stay undefeated at the top of the table despite an early scare from Saracens Mavericks.

Here’s what we learned this weekend.

Mavericks give Storm a scare

Surrey Storm remain unbeaten, but were pushed all the way in a 68-56 victory over Saracens Mavericks at Surrey Sports Park.

Camilla Buchanan’s side lead 34-32 at the break with a stunning second quarter proving they can mix it with those at the top.

Kira Rothwell and Jodie Gibson shone on opposite ends of the court, Rothwell’s all-action display at goal attack kept things ticking over with 12 feeds and 11 goals whilst Gibson picked up a total of five deflections in defence.

Mavericks held strong in their second match in two days, having lost 68-51 to Loughborough Lightning on Friday, but eventually saw the lead slip away in a sensational second half by Storm.

The defensive line-up of Leah Middleton, Layla Guscoth and Amy Flanagan was not to be trifled with as they made seven deflections and six turnovers between them, while player of the match Mikki Austin shone in the midcourt alongside the constantly impressive Yasmin Brookes, who continued her strong start to the season.

And with some strong showings from the bench, the performance was enough to keep Storm top of the table and just one of two undefeated sides alongside Loughborough Lightning.

Bath hold off Sirens comeback for nail-biting first victory

Team Bath Netball surged to their first victory of the season in a dramatic 49-48 contest against Strathclyde Sirens on Friday night.

Sirens fought back in an outstanding second half performance but were unable to topple the Blue and Gold in their own backyard.

A pairing of Betsy Creak and young star Sophie Kelly powered forward in the Bath shooting circle to edge their team ahead early.

The injection of Kadeen Corbin pushed Bath to a six-point lead at half-time, but mistakes began to emerge for Asha Francis’ side and Sirens took advantage.

It wasn’t long until Sirens drew level at 40-40 but Jayda Pechova reigned supreme for her team in defence and made two vital turnovers to inspire her team to their first win.

With a first win under their belts, Francis will hope it is a sign of things to come after a disappointing opening three results.

Thunder back to winning ways

Manchester Thunder returned to winning ways with a closely contested 58-51 win over London Pulse in front of a record crowd at the Copper Box Arena.

If Thunder were still recovering from the end of their unbeaten streak following a defeat to Surrey Storm last week, they showed few signs as they roared back to victory in the capital.

The defending champions quickly picked up speed and were able to put some distance between themselves and Pulse, who hosted over 2,000 people in London.

But a fast-paced encounter saw the hosts never too far behind Karen Greig’s side, as they sought to retain their unbeaten status in 2023.

With a 95 per cent shot accuracy, 20 goals and 10 feeds, Lois Pearson picked up Player of the Match after a superb attacking display at the Copper Box.

Her pairing with Lenize Potgieter in the circle was the key to success over their hosts, netting three goals in the final minute of play and picking up vital rebounds to push their team ahead in a close contest.

Stars show off their attacking skills

Severn Stars picked up their second victory of the season with a 61-40 win over Celtic Dragons on the road.

It was an attacking masterpiece from Stars as Sigi Burger and Grace Namana linked up well in the shooting third, with Jessica Shaw and Gabby Marshall keeping up a constant provision of feeds into the circle, with 13 and 15 each.

Burger was once again in fine form in the shooting circle, netting 45 times to move her within two goals of current league top scorer Proscovia Peace.

Dragons were within just five goals of their opponents before the final quarter, but Stars proved their strength in an untouchable final 15 minutes, racing to a further 21 goals.

But Player of the Match Ella Powell-Davies fought until the very end with a staggering seven turnovers, something Dragons will hope stands them in good stead going forward.

Stars won just three times last term but are already on two this season under Jo Trip, and their strong start to the season will give them hope of challenging high up the table this season.

Williams dominates for Lightning

Just how good is Fran Williams?

The Loughborough Lighting defender was on top form to pick up her third Player of the Match title in a row thanks to a whopping seven turnovers, five intercepts and four deflections as her side eased past Mavericks.

Williams leads the league for intercepts with 19, four ahead ofΒ  Jayda Pechova, while her 27 turnovers is also a league best ahead of Shaquanda Greene-Noel.

Lightning thrived on a strong defence all match, with Alice Harvey and Jasmin Odeogberin adding to their steely rearguard.

Following a fairly equal first quarter, with both teams grabbing 13 goals, Lightning produced a huge second quarter, with Mary Cholhok and Emma Thacker carrying the load in the shooting circle.

It is the second time Lightning have pulled away in the second quarter, having also done so against Celtic Dragons, meaning the rest of the league will have to be wary of what Vic Burgess is telling her charges at the first quarter time going forward.

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