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Round 13: Thunder secure top four

Credit: @hccaptures

Manchester Thunder confirmed their place in the top four with victory over Cardiff Dragons in Round 13 of the Netball Super League.

London Pulse came through a thriller against Surrey Storm as Leeds Rhinos pulled off a strong win against Saracens Mavericks to move one point behind them in the table.

Severn Stars maintained their push for the last four with victory over Strathclyde Sirens as Loughborough Lightning defeated Team Bath.

Thunder wear down Dragons

Manchester Thunder confirmed a top-four spot for the 10th consecutive season as they beat Cardiff Dragons 63-44.

Thunder’s shooters were on song, all shooting at over 90% with Elmere van der Berg not missing any of her 26 attempts while Taylor McKevitt was dogged in defence.

However, the hosts could not build a big lead in the first half as they were unable to make Dragons pay for their errors.

The second half saw their ruthless streak come out as the gap grew to 10 after the third quarter despite the best efforts of Leah Middleton and Jacqui Newton.

Thunder lost the final quarter but it did not matter as they got the job done and secured finals netball for another year.

Pulse edge Storm

London Pulse withstood a Surrey Storm surge to triumph 58-53 in the local derby live on Sky Sports.

Credit: Mallory Porcher

The match see-sawed as the hosts opened up an early lead only to be brought back to parity by Storm.

Pulse ended the quarter just two ahead and the advantage remained the same at the half-time break.

Sam Bird rotated Pulse’s defensive unit who were made to work as Storm closed the gap to just two points before Pulse rallied late on to take the victory.

Darcie Everitt impressed off the bench for Pulse with sister Zara also proving strong at wing defence, while the midcourt reigned supreme for Storm as Rosie Harris delivered an all-round all-star performance.

Rhinos overturn Mavericks

Saracens Mavericks could not make a strong start pay as Leeds Rhinos roared back to triumph 59-49 in Sheffield.

The visitors opened a five-goal lead after the first 15 minutes as they produced turnover after turnover.

From there, Leeds Rhinos clicked into gear as Joyce Mvula shot at 100% while Geva Mentor put pressure on Ine-Marí Venter at the other end to see her side enter the break with a four-goal advantage.

Mentor and Zoe Davies were a formidable pairing in the defensive circle as Rhinos continued to build their lead in the second half pulling off a comfortable win.

Stars out do Sirens

Severn Stars triumphed in a tale of two halves as they beat Strathclyde Sirens 61-50 in Glasgow.

Jo Trip’s side built an early lead as Sigi Burger scored three in a row with Jas Brown producing multiple rebounds.

The lead grew to 17 at the break but from there, it was all Sirens as the hosts won the final two quarters by three goals each to show their fight.

Lightning shine against Bath

Team Bath’s late rally could not deny a professional 76-51 win for Loughborough Lightning.

The defending champions flew out of the traps as they won the first quarter 21-12, extending their lead to 18 at the interval.

Hannah Joseph shone in the mid-court for Lightning with 44 feeds, two interceptions and two gains while the defensive partnership of Alice Harvey and Nicola Smith was at its slick best.

Team Bath did improve in the final quarter, drawing it 15-15 as Lisa Putt and Tash Pavelin worked tirelessly to turn defence into attack.

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