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Round 2 of the Netball Super League: A roundup

After an opening round full of fantastic netball, Round 2 lived up to the expectation. The results were as follows:

  • Cardiff Dragons 52 vs 63 Manchester Thunder
  • Loughborough Lightning 83 vs 46 Team Bath
  • London Pulse 62 vs 46 Surrey Storm
  • Saracens Mavericks 53 vs 44 Leeds Rhinos
  • Severn Stars 67 vs 38 Strathclyde Sirens

On Friday night, Cardiff Dragons hosted Manchester Thunder. Coming off the back of a thrilling draw against Mavericks, Dragons were determined to challenge Thunder who struggled to break down the hosts and were behind by one goal at half time, credit to Dragons. The second quarter was 12 goals a piece. But Thunder are not four time champions for nothing and they tightened up in the second half to win the remaining two quarters by seven and five goals respectively

On the Saturday, Team Bath travelled to Loughborough to face the reigning champions. In the first quarter, they went toe-to-toe with Lightning, only losing their grip in the last few minutes. After a quick quarter time break, Lightning came out hunting with some excellent defensive pressure, resulting in a multitude of turnovers from GK Alice Harvey and GD Nicola Smith, not to mention the hassling from WD Beth Cobden, winning them the quarter 23-8. This momentum did not stop in the third quarter as a win looked inevitable for Loughborough. In the final quarter, Bath did prevent Lightning from adding to the tally in a tight end to the match. Due to Lightning’s work in the middle two quarters, they took a definitive win 83-46.

Lightning Netball vs Bath 24 Feb 24

Lightening v Bath. Photo credit: Phil Peters.

Also playing were previous finalists London Pulse and Surrey Storm. Storm had a challenging opening fixture against Loughborough and this was followed up by another challenging match against strong, youthful Pulse fresh from the capital. Pulse came straight out of the blocks, scoring 18 goals to Storms 10. This was backed up by a fruitful second quarter from Pulse, as the half-time score stood at 34-20 to Pulse. Storm claimed a third quarter win (16-15) to boost their confidence, but it was to no avail as Pulse took the fourth and final quarter by three goals to leave the scoreline at 62-46. With the team from the capital gaining a massive 25 deflections and a reasonable 6 intercepts, they certainly do look like a threat again this season, despite an unexpectedly heavy loss to Thunder at the season opener.

In their second game of the 2024 season, Saracens Mavericks played Leeds Rhinos. Throughout, Mavericks tended to have the lead, but it was a slender lead, by three or four goals, and occasionally Rhinos would take the lead only for it to be snatched from them by Saracens. In the defensive end, Mavericks GK Razia Quashie went out hunting for some flying intercepts, whilst Rhinos only had two intercepts, seven deflections and eight gains throughout the game. By the third quarter, Saracens were only leading by two goals, but they really capitalised on their defensive work in the final quarter, which they won 15-8. I wouldn’t expect either team to be in the final four come the end of the season, and despite the star signing of Geva Mentor, Rhinos appear to be struggling, but Saracens certainly should be challengers for the middle spots- their summer signing of Emma Thacker from Lightning is paying dividends for the side.

Finally, Severn Stars were up against Scottish side Strathclyde Sirens. Right from the first whistle, stars dominated, scoring 21 goals in the first quarter to have a very healthy 13 goal lead. This work continued in the second quarter to extend their lead to 36-15 at the half-time break. Sirens put up a fight after half-time, only losing the third quarter by two goals before losing the fourth and final quarter 17-11. Sirens are left with much to think about as they will be preparing to face the might of Manchester Thunder. Next up for Severn Stars is Team Bath, who will have taken positives from the game despite the heavy loss against Loughborough.

My predictions for Round 3:

  • Severn Stars win comfortably against Team Bath
  • Cardiff Dragons get their first win of the season against Leeds Rhinos
  • Manchester Thunder beat Strathclyde Sirens
  • Surrey Storm beat Saracens Mavericks in what I expect to be a tight game
  • Loughborough Lightning beat London Pulse

Additionally, if you want to hear more from me, you can head over to @tash_talker1 on Instagram to find my viewpoints and predictions!

By Natasha Callis

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