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Loughborough Lightning

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Saracens Mavericks

Match Details

5th March 2022
Round 6
Sir David Wallace Arena
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Match Results

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First Centre Pass

Beth Ecuyer-Dale
Beth Ecuyer-Dale Saracens Mavericks View profile

Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Relentless Lightning win again after downing Mavericks

Natalie Panagarry of Loughborough Lightning during the Vitality Super League match between Loughborough Lightning and Saracen Mavericks at Studio 001, Wakefield, England on 21st January 2021.

Loughborough Lightning made it five wins from five in the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) on Saturday night with a dominant 71-47 victory over Saracens Mavericks in front over over 1,000 home fans.

Lightning headed into Round 6 against their closest rivals yet. Both sides boasted 12 points heading into the round however with a game in hand and an undefeated record, Lightning were favourites on the books for the night’s clash.

The game intensity was high from the start, with a centre pass play and a turnover seeing Mary Cholhok steal her first two goals of the game.

An extraordinary shot was then taken by Ella Clark from the edge of the circle to further consolidate Lightning’s lead. That offensive ferocity to win was mirrored throughout the court, with Alice Harvey and Fran Williams’ defensive pressure forcing Mavericks into turnovers to widen Lightning’s lead.

A dominant 19-7 score at the end of the first quarter suggested that there was only more quality to come.

Quarter 1: Loughborough Lightning 19 - 7 Saracens Mavericks 

The same seven took to the court in order for the home side to surge clear. With constant communication and reassurance from skipper Nat Panagarry, Lightning moved fluidly through the court.

Despite an exceptional shot from Mavericks’ in-form goal shooter Ine-Mari Venter, Harvey and Williams’ constant switching meant that they were able to reassert their dominance in the circle.

Up in the attacking third, a well thought out fake and feed by Hannah Joseph sent the ball directly into Cholhok who waited in prime position under the post.

Going into half-time with an astounding 15-goal lead, Lightning were sure to be in for a positive half-time team talk. 

[caption id="attachment_16990" align="alignnone" width="300"] Alice Harvey produced a dominant performance to give the Saracens Mavericks attack quiet (Image: Tara StClair)[/caption]

Half time: Loughborough Lightning 36 – 21 Saracens Mavericks

Lightning were the first to the ball, starting with the centre pass in the third quarter, shortly followed by a shot from Clark.

Every goal of the first five minutes of the quarter belonged to Lightning, and the crowd couldn’t get enough. The atmosphere in the arena was electric, confirming the dominance of the defending VNSL champions.

Lightning matched that intensity, always keeping an eye on the ball, allowing Cholhok to celebrate yet another goal. After a powerful performance from Harvey, the final minute of the quarter bought Zan Vimbela onto the court as GK.

The promise of the South African International reignited excitement amongst the crowd in eager anticipation of her circle dominance. The victory was soon in sight as Lightning headed into the final quarter ahead by 23. 

Quarter 3: Loughborough Lightning 57 – 34 Saracens Mavericks

Heading into the final 15 minutes, Lightning made another substitution, sending Suzie Liverseidge in for Clark, Ella Bowen on as WD and Hannah Williams on as WA.

Liverseidge’s chemistry with Mary Cholhok was palpable, seeing a fake pop over to Cholhok, deceiving both the GD and GK as the hosts continued to put on a show, understanding the importance of goal difference to take to the top of the league table.

The fresh legs on court were phenomenal in exhausting Mavericks, providing the quality we have all come to associate with Lightning. Despite Vimbela having to work hard to apply pressure on Venter, there was never any sign of defeat.

The remaining five minutes continued to provide nothing but excitement, speed, and thrill for the audience.

The final substitution saw Loughborough University’s own Emma Thacker on at GS. Almost immediately Thacker saw a goal to her name. The final scoreboard screamed victory for Lightning, a 24-goal success over the team that started the round just one place behind them in the table.

Full time: Loughborough Lightning 71 – 47 Saracens Mavericks

[caption id="attachment_16991" align="alignnone" width="300"] Mary Cholhok's incredible shooting display earned her Player of the Match honours (Image: Tara StClair)[/caption]

Player of the Match - Mary Cholhok (Loughborough Lightning)

Victoria Burgess, Loughborough Lightning Head Coach - “For us it’s about executing and being consistent across all four quarters and we’ve really focused on pushing on when we’re ahead. I think they did a really good job of that today.”

“Every shooter that takes to court for our team has shown that they’re capable of consistency and it was really good to get a good mix of those girls out there tonight.”

Mary Cholhok, Loughborough Lightning - “It means a lot to us as players to have so many of our fans in the crowd, it really keeps us going and gets us over the line.

"It’s been a good start for us but the season is long, we still have a lot to work on as a team but hopefully everyone appreciates how much we’re putting in as a team and tonight it’s about celebrating the little wins.”

Match report supplied by Loughborough Lightning