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Lois Pearson

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Manchester Thunder pulled clear at the top of the Netball Super League with victory over rivals Loughborough Lightning.

The top two sides played out a box office fixture at the Sir David Wallace as Thunder gained revenge for defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Saracens Mavericks picked up their second win on the bounce, while Surrey Storm returned to winning ways and London Pulse edged a thriller versus Leeds Rhinos.

The final game of the weekend saw Severn Stars get one over Cardiff Dragons live on BBC Sport.

Thunder strike Lightning

Manchester Thunder moved three points clear at the summit with a 61-57 win away at Loughborough Lightning.

The two sides arrived in the East Midlands level on points, but it was Karen Greig’s side who would end the day on top, thanks in part to a pivotal third quarter.

Just one goal separated the sides at half-time, with Lightning taking a narrow 30-29 lead into the break but that was flipped on its head as Thunder took the third quarter 17-13 to swing the game decisively their way.

It was a game of fine margins, with shooters Mary Cholhok and Elmerè van der Berg both shooting at over 90% and putting on 50 and 41 goals respectively.

Imogen Allison was crowned Player of the Match thanks to her all-court performance that saw her register a match-high four deflections and a gain.

Mavs down Sirens

Saracens Mavericks made it two wins on the spin with a 57-41 triumph over Strathclyde Sirens at Hertfordshire Sports Village.

The hosts established a four-goal lead by the end of the fourth quarter and never let go despite Sirens edging the third quarter by a goal.

But any notion of a late comeback was quickly extinguished as Mavericks took the final quarter 18-7 to wrap up all three points in style.

Ine-Marí Venter celebrated her 50th appearance with 27 goals at 96%, while Georgia Lees produced a huge 38 feeds from wing attack. Razia Quashie took the Player of the Match accolade courtesy of seven deflections and three gains.

For Sirens it was another defeat but the Scottish side will take heart from Bethan Goodwin’s 26 goals at 90% while goal keeper Cerys Finn continued to impress.

Victory sees Mavericks move up to sixth in the table, five points off fourth.

Storm beat Bath

Surrey Storm continued their push for the top four with a 63-56 win over Team Bath.

Storm bounced back from defeat to Manchester Thunder last time out in perfect fashion, clawing back an early Bath lead through huge swings in the second and third quarters to notch their sixth win of the season.

Asha Francis’ side edged a high-scoring first quarter 19-18 but Mikki Austin’s outfit hit back and won the second quarter by five goals before taking the third by 10 to push home their advantage.

Bath hit back in the final quarter, edging it by three goals, but Storm’s advantage was large enough to see out victory.

Beth Dix continued her strong form for Storm, contributing 38 feeds to the circle of Proscovia Peace and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, whose partnership goes from strength to strength.

Defensively, Rosie Harris also continued her impressive showings at wing defence with another four gains, the most of any player in the match.

Jayda Pechora topped that stat for Bath alongside four deflections as the young defender shone again while Kirsty Harris and Bethan Dyke both kept the circle well fed.

Pulse edge Rhinos

London Pulse kept up their chase of the top two with a nail-biting 49-48 win over Leeds Rhinos.

Pulse ventured south of the river for their first game at Crystal Palace Arena but took a while to adjust to their new surroundings, as Rhinos took a 29-25 lead into half-time.

But Pulse hit back after the break, nudging themselves into the lead with a big third quarter before seeing out a tense final 15 minutes.

Olivia Tchine and Berri Neil kept things ticking at one end as they both shot at 90% and above while Funmi Fadoju continued her incredible statistics with another 18 deflections.

It was another positive showing from Rhinos despite defeat as they continue to show plenty of improvements under Liana Leota.
Joyce Mvula continued her metronomic style in front of goal while Geva Mentor picked up a huge 10 gains.

Stars get one back over Dragons

Severn Stars also sealed a revenge mission with a 56-41 win over Cardiff Dragons.

Dragons won the reverse fixture 48-46 in March but were well beaten in Worcester, as Stars hit the front early and never looked back.

Stars put up 17 goals in the first quarter with Sigi Burger shooting at 90% throughout the game for her 35 goals, before the home side carved out a 31-23 lead at the break.

Dragons looked to mount a comeback and edged the third quarter but Stars hit back with 16 goals to Dragons’ seven in the fourth to seal an emphatic victory.

Burger teamed up superbly with compatriot and Player of the Match Lefébre Rademan, who shone at goal attack while Jess Shaw put up 47 feeds. In defence, Jo Trip and Jasmine Brown both picked up seven gains.

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