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Loughborough Lightning

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Leeds Rhinos

Match Details

19th March 2023
Round 7
David Wallace Sports Hall
Stats Report

Match Results

Watch On: Broadcaster Logo

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First Centre Pass

Caroline O’Hanlon
Caroline O’Hanlon Leeds Rhinos View profile

Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Lightning make second half comeback to seal another home win

Loughborough Lightning maintained their 100% record at home with a win against Leeds Rhinos to move up to third.

The game was set to be an exciting one with Rhinos aiming to seal their first win of the season and leave the bottom of the table.

The game also marked momentous occasions for Nat Panagarry who claimed her 150th Netball Super League appearance and Alice Harvey’s who picked up her 50th Lightning cap. These two great achievements highlight all the hard work of both individuals and show their continued strong performances through each game.

Throughout the first quarter, Rhino’s domineering attack and a quick succession of passion across all sections of the court proved a challenge for the Lightning defence to contend with the never-ending attack. Harvey and Fran Williams were called into action within the quarter and aimed to create turnovers in play to strengthen the Lightning attack, with Mary Cholhok providing the usual flurry of goals against the Rhino’s defence.

Panagarry and Cholhok developed vital link-up play in the attacking third during the final few moments of the quarter, giving Lightning some momentum as they went into the first break two goals down.

Lightning head coach Vic Burgess made two changes at the start of the second quarter with Harvey exiting the court for Zanele Vimbela at goal keeper and Rhea Dixon taking the place of Emma Thacker at goal attack. The changes brought new energy to both the Lightning attack and defence as Lightning levelled the score halfway through the quarter. Panagarry worked tirelessly to keep Lightning in the game in the hope of taking the lead.

A challenge on Vimbela brought a fast-paced Lightning attack resulting in another Cholhok goal adding to Lightning’s tally. However, the pace of the game remained mixed with both teams fighting for each goal and contesting fierce play in all positions. Hannah Joseph, Dixon and Cholhok made up one of the many Lightning attacks towards the Rhino’s goal and proved hard to defend against with the Lightning defence staying concentrated. The hosts trailed by one goal going into half time.

Another change saw Thacker back onto court for Dixon at goal attack. An early Rhino’s shot on goal bounced off the rim and fell to the hands of Williams as the team raced down the court in search of another goal to level the score. William’s defensive efforts proved vital for Lightning’s increasing lead and quick thinking passing strengthened the run of play.

Panagarry intercepted a crucial pass in the centre court and fired the ball forward towards the Lightning attack as Cholhok calmly finished. Thacker looked to be gaining confidence with some long shots that converted into a string of goals with Joseph and Panagarry commanding the centre court. Jas Odeogberin’s movement within the defensive third led the Rhino’s attack astray and gave Lightning the opportunity to extend their advantage.

As we entered the final quarter both teams looked up for a battle. A turnover in play allowed the Rhinos to bring the pace back to their game and the Rhino’s goal keeper completed interceptions that changed the run of play. Despite the strong opposition defence Lightning took their lead even further and capitalised on long balls into the attack that fell to the hands of Cholhok from Panagarry. Lightning’s confidence started to break down Rhino’s attacking threat as the home side secured a comfortable 14-goal lead.

Head coach Vic Burgess commented after the game: "In the first quarter they [Rhinos] came out ahead and we probably didn’t have the work rate we said we would have at the start.

"The first half wasn’t where we wanted to be. We spoke about it at half-time and they came out and really applied themselves."

Lightning return to action on Saturday 25 March at home in the Sir David Wallace Sports Arena at 6pm as they look to add another win to their tally.

Tickets to Lightning’s 2023 home campaign are now on sale and can be purchased at: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/sport/performance/lightning/netball/fixtures-results/

Match report provided by Loughborough Lightning