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Round 11: Lightning and Thunder keep good times rolling

Loughborough Lightning and Manchester Thunder continued their tussle at the top of the Netball Super League with Round 11 victories.

Lightning outplayed Leeds Rhinos in the first quarter of their Sunday contest, live on Sky Sports, and never looked back while Thunder were equally dominant in their victory over Surrey Storm.

Elsewhere, Strathclyde Sirens and Celtic Dragons couldn’t be separated and there were wins for London Pulse and Saracens Mavericks too.

Sirens seal first point

Strathclyde Sirens earned their first point of the 2024 Netball Super League season with a thrilling 54-54 draw with Cardiff Dragons.

The Celtic clash between these two sides always brings plenty of fireworks and this meeting was no different as Sirens continued their up tick in performances.

It led to the first point of the campaign as they fought back from an early deficit to draw with Dragons in Cardiff.

Dragons took an early four-goal lead after the first quarter but were reeled in by Sirens, who saw Bethan Goodwin top score with 39 goals at a rate of 87%.

Georgia Rowe responded with 30 goals for Dragons with an accuracy of 94% while Phillipa Yarranton also added 10 goals at 91% but they were met with fierce defence from Sirens, with young keeper Cerys Finn again impressing with four deflections and two gains.

Hannah Leighton also shone for Sirens with 37 feeds and it proved enough for Sirens to get off the mark in the standings despite Dragons edging the fourth quarter.

Pulse get revenge over Stars

London Pulse got their own back on Severn Stars with a comprehensive 72-50 victory in Worcester, live on BBC Sport.

Pulse lined up with an unorthodox starting seven in the absence of Halimat Adio, with Alicia Scholes deputising at centre and Nichole Taljaard dropping into wing attack while the defensive unit of Izzi Phillips, Zara Everitt and Funmi Fadoju all dropped back one position.

But they showed no signs of unfamiliarity as they quickly hit the front and never looked back to right the wrongs of their 54-47 defeat at the Copper Box in the reverse fixture.

Scholes impressed at centre despite a late suspension while Taljaard produced a huge 49 feeds as Liv Tchine finished the game with 47 goals at an impressive rate of 96% and Fadoju continued to stun in the statistics with another 13 deflections and eight gains.

For Stars, defeat marked their third loss on the bounce but Jo Trip’s side are still in control in their hunt for top four and will take plenty of heart from another battling performance that saw Sigi Burger put up another 38 goals.

Mavs make it past Bath

Saracens Mavericks returned to winning ways with a 53-44 win over Team Bath.

Mavs had suffered four defeats on the spin coming into the clash but were back on top at Hertfordshire Sports Village as they led from the front to take victory.

A big first quarter saw Camilla Buchanan’s side establish a 16-12 lead and they never relinquished it, winning two of the three remaining quarters with Bath’s fightback in the third quarter not enough to wipe out the deficit despite just four goals separating the sides heading into the final quarter.

Thunder push past Storm

Manchester Thunder continued their winning run with a dominant 73-48 win away at Surrey Storm.

Thunder raced into a 19-15 lead in a high-scoring opening quarter before Storm kept the deficit to just four goals heading into the break.

But Karen Greig’s side strode clear after the break, putting up 20 goals in each quarter to wrap up a comprehensive win.

Shooter Elmeré van der Berg continued her strong form with 45 goals at 96%, while Paige Reed and Anya Williams both added in the circle.

For Storm, defeat brought a halt to a run of form that saw them put together back-to-back victories for only the second time this season.

Proscovia Peace once again top scored with 26 goals while Leah Goss deputised well at centre in the absence of player-coach Mikki Austin.

Lightning strike early at Rhinos

Loughborough Lightning had a fast start to thank for their commanding 64-56 win over Leeds Rhinos.

A bumper First Direct Arena crowd were silenced as the visitors from the East Midlands poured on 18 points to the home side’s 10 in the opening quarter.

Alice Harvey’s four deflections and two interceptions from Beth Cobden were vital in stymying Rhinos’ early attacking efforts with Mary Cholhok her reliable self in the circle.

Rhinos did drag things back and outscored Lightning by seven points in the third quarter, but the early advantage proved insurmountable and Lightning made it ten wins from 11 games.

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