Vitality Netball Superleague: Manchester Thunder remain unbeaten after Bath victory | Netball News

Karen Greig’s outfit have scored over 1,000 goals this Vitality Netball Superleague season and are unbeaten moving into Round 17; Loughborough Lightning book place in the end-of-season play-offs at Copper Box Arena next month

Last Updated: 03/05/22 10:22am

Laura Malcolm produced a captain's knock for Thunder (Image credit: Ben Lumley)

Laura Malcolm produced a captain’s knock for Thunder (Image credit: Ben Lumley)

Manchester Thunder continued their unbeaten run to dismiss Team Bath Netball 66-45 at Belle Vue in Round 16 of the Vitality Netball Superleague.

Karen Greig’s outfit have now scored well over 1,000 goals in the competition.

They move into Round 17 with a three-point gap over last year’s champions Loughborough Lightning at the top of the Superleague table.

Thunder have already booked their place on the final weekend at the Copper Box Arena and are going in search of their first Superleague title since 2019.

Against Bath, Laura Malcolm delivered a captain’s performance to earn the player-of-the-match award and highlighted the confidence the players have in their environment right now.

Watch highlights of the Vitality Netball Superleague match between the Manchester Thunder and Team Bath Netball

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Watch highlights of the Vitality Netball Superleague match between the Manchester Thunder and Team Bath Netball

Watch highlights of the Vitality Netball Superleague match between the Manchester Thunder and Team Bath Netball

“It was a well-contested game,” she said. “I’m really proud that we came out hard and kept pushing throughout.

“The coaches are giving us all of the tools to use when we go on court and to make sure that we can react [to team’s changes]. “I’m really happy with what the coaches are giving us and I’m really happy with how we’re applying it.”

Once again, Thunder used the first quarter to establish their platform in the match and deliver maximum damage to Bath.

They did so without Nat Metcalf in their squad and, as a result, Lois Pearson was handed the keys to their attack-end at WA.

Manchester Thunder vs Team Bath Netball – Quarter-by-quarter scores

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FT
Manchester Thunder 20 17 14 15 66
Team Bath Netball 12 10 14 9 45

Thunder’s quick start and productivity over the first 30 minutes enabled Greig to use almost all of her 12-player squad and it ensured a drawn third quarter didn’t impact the result.

Bath’s Phumza Maweni and Layla Guscoth were relentless in delivering turnover ball for the visitors. The duo form one of the best defensive partnerships in the league but Bath just did not convert it through to goal often enough.

Anna Stembridge’s team have not been able to settle in attack since losing the experience of Serena Guthrie in mid-court, and 14 unforced errors highlighted the disjointed nature of their work going forwards.

After the contest, the head coach admitted that their basics let them down.

Vitality Netball Superleague results

Leeds Rhinos Netball 56-57 Loughborough Lightning Rearranged fixture
Team Bath Netball 50-49 Saracens Mavericks Rearranged fixture
Severn Stars 38-53 London Pulse Round 16
Surrey Storm 55-52 Strathclyde Sirens Round 16
Wasps 65-52 Surrey Storm Round 16
Strathclyde Sirens 49-54 Severn Stars Rearranged fixture
Manchester Thunder 66-45 Team Bath Netball Round 16
Saracens Mavericks 51-59 Loughborough Lightning Round 16

Elsewhere in Round 16 of the competition, Loughborough Lightning edged out Saracens Mavericks 59-51 to confirm their place in the play-offs next month.

Lightning fought back from a first-quarter deficit to lead at half-time; Victoria Burgess’ outfit produced a stunning 20-13 second quarter to take control of the encounter.

Mavericks remained without shooter Ine-Mari Venter and defenders Temalisi Fakahokotau, while Lightning continue to deliver victories without their target shooter Mary Cholhok.

Wasps overcame Surrey Storm at the Coventry Building Society Arena 65-52.

The final game on Monday was a rearranged fixture between Strathclyde Sirens and Severn Stars. On the road, Stars put a disappointing defeat to London Pulse behind them and edged their hosts 54-49.

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