Friday night double-header kick-starts latest bout of Vitality Netball Superleague thrills and spills

Sportsbeat
·4-min read
Jade Clarke's Leeds Rhinos are back in action among ten thrilling Vitality Netball Superleague matches this weekend. © Action Images
Jade Clarke's Leeds Rhinos are back in action among ten thrilling Vitality Netball Superleague matches this weekend. © Action Images

The Vitality Netball Superleague returns on Friday for a bumper ten-match weekend with games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Severn Stars kick us off at 17:15 GMT on Friday as they take on Surrey Storm. Stars are yet to find a win this season while Storm have secured two victories over London Pulse and Celtic Dragons.

Young star Issy Eaton will be hoping to continue making a positive impact on the Severn Stars team, with the 16-year-old so-far looking as though she has been involved in the competition for a long time.

Eaton has been impressing coaches and players across the league, and Team Bath head coach Anna Stembridge told their media team: “You can’t underestimate Stars. I thought their young guns did particularly well against Loughborough, particularly shooter Issy Eaton who’s only 16.”

The second game on Friday night is set to be a thriller as the two teams who remain unbeaten so far, Team Bath and Manchester Thunder, are set to face each other.

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The two sides are largely predicted to make up the top two when it comes to the end of the season, so this game could be crucial in their bid to reach the Finals series.

Saturday’s matches start at 14:00 GMT with Storm taking to the court again against top of the table Loughborough Lightning. Lightning have been clinical so far this season, putting in solid defensive performances and shooter Mary Cholhok has been pivotal under the post.

Lightning player Ella Clark told Sky Sports: “We are where we want to be. We are still building and it is still early on in the season, so I think we’ve still got more to give as well.”

Team Bath and Severn Stars both take to the court again for the second game on Saturday afternoon. Stars will look to put in an excellent defensive performance and keep a strong Bath team within reach for as long as possible.

Manchester Thunder play Wasps in the final match of the day. Wasps have missed out on wins against both Bath and Lightning so far this season, so will be hoping to come out on top against the reigning champions to boost their bid for a top-four finish.

On Sunday Strathclyde Sirens, who have now won three consecutive games - the same number they won in total in the 2019 season - take on Saracens Mavericks. Mavericks are coming off the back of a dominant win against Celtic Dragons and will be looking to put a stop to Sirens’ winning streak.

Sirens technical director Karen Atkinson said: “We’re now trying to push on the self-belief, the winning mindset and mentality that they need both on a day-to-day basis when they’re training but then also when they step on the court at Superleague level.”

Lightning will look to stay at the top as they play London Pulse for their second game of the weekend. Pulse are another team still looking for a win this season, but they face a tough opponent in Lightning.

Wasps play again in the final game of Sunday against the newest franchise, Leeds Rhinos. While three injuries have had an impact on the Rhinos squad, they have still proven they are a force to be reckoned with this season. They will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering a 70-41 loss against Lightning in the last round.

The action continues on Monday night with Pulse taking on Celtic Dragons in the first game of the evening. Both teams will be hoping to gain their first win of the season and get the all-important points on the board.

It is set to be a competitive encounter and Dragons will look to take advantage of having shooter Amy Clinton in their side, who has been clinical under the post so far this season.

The action is finished off with Leeds Rhinos taking on Strathclyde Sirens. Sirens have proven they are the surprise package this season, sitting in fifth place and Rhinos in seventh. It is likely to be a good game in which converting turnovers to goals will be essential in order to gain a lead.

All matches will be streamed live on Sky Sports.

Friday 12 March

Severn Stars v Surrey Storm 17:15

Team Bath v Manchester Thunder 19:15

Saturday 13 March

Surrey Storm v Loughborough Lightning 14:00

Team Bath v Severn Stars 16:00

Manchester Thunder v Wasps 18:00

Sunday 14 March

Strathclyde Sirens v Saracens Mavericks 14:00

Loughborough Lightning v London Pulse 16:00

Wasps v Leeds Rhinos 18:00

Monday 15 March

London Pulse v Celtic Dragons 17:15

Leeds Rhinos v Strathclyde Sirens 19:15