The Spring Showdown took place at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena and featured 10 matches; the Vitality Netball Superleague continues on Saturday and Loughborough Lightning’s encounter with Strathclyde Sirens will be streamed live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel from 7pm
Last Updated: 18/04/22 8:26am
Take a look back at the Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown, and enjoy some of the key performances and major talking points.
Rounds 13 and 14 of the Vitality Netball Superleague certainly delivered, as the competition took over the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham and all 11 teams took to court.
After a two days of matches, Manchester Thunder remain unbeaten and have a six-point cushion at the top of the table. Loughborough Lightning follow in second, with London Pulse moving up to third position. Saracens Mavericks remain in the final play-off position.
At the other end of the table, Celtic Dragons and Severn Stars both rose to the occasion in Birmingham and delivered their second wins of the season.
- Vitality Netball Superleague 2022: Fixtures, coverage and results
- Rhinos beat Team Bath for first time | Pulse triumph over Mavs
- Lightning win without Cholhok and Panagarry | Dragons beat Rhinos
Match of the Round
Inside the Resorts World Arena, all 10 matches kept the crowd spellbound but the penultimate contest of the weekend really kept them on the edge of their seats.
Saracens Mavericks and London Pulse, two top-four contenders, went goal-for-goal for around 40 minutes before Sam Bird’s outfit turned the screw.
A young Pulse side then used their defensive prowess and Olivia Tchine’s accuracy to open up a gap. Mavericks hit back through the work of the Corbin sisters but Pulse remained composed.
Alicia Scholes thoroughly deserved her player of the match award after stunning in attack and she also showed how effective wing attacks can be on the back foot too.
As was the case in Pulse’s first match of the Showdown, shooter Olivia Tchine highlighted her accuracy. She finished the weekend having scored 80 goals and missed just four.
Spring Showdown results
Vitality Netball Superleague – Spring Showdown
|Lightning 57-54 Storm||Bath 54-64 Rhinos|
|Rhinos 51-55 Dragons||Dragons 52-56 Lightning|
|Thunder 73-51 Sirens||Storm 50-80 Thunder|
|Wasps 38-44 Pulse||Pulse 53-46 Mavericks|
|Mavs 58-44 Stars||Stars 56-47 Wasps|
Performances of the Round
Although Manchester Thunder scoring 80 goals in a game against Storm is incredibly impressive, two other teams pip them when it comes to this category – Celtic Dragons and Severn Stars.
On day one, Celtic Dragons clicked as a collective. They have been building under new head coach Dannii Titmus-Morris and against Rhinos Netball worked exceptionally hard for each other.
Nia Jones put in a captain’s knock at wing defence, with Shaquanda Greene-Noel’s energy permutating through court.
Shooter Georgia Rowe continued to show her accuracy by scoring 40 goals and missing just one. Rowe is also adding further layers to her game this season, which will please Wales’ head coach as the Commonwealth Games come into focus.
In the final game of the weekend Severn Stars beat Wasps 56-47 and secured just their second win of the season.
Early on, it looked as if Melissa Bessell’s team were going to fall into the trap of trying to be too creative, but their experienced players adapted their work and reined it in.
Cat Tuivaiti and Katie Harris both confidently turned to post, while Bethan Dyke shone at centre. Dyke finished the game with a staggering 24 feeds and a player of the match award. In defence, Lucy Herdman and Summer Artman produced 11 turnovers and eight interceptions which never let Wasps settle.
Turnaround of the Round
After their defeat to Dragons on day one, Leeds Rhinos Netball returned to court and showed exactly what they’re made of against Team Bath Netball.
Clearly hurt by their showing against Dragons, Tracey Robinson’s team were undaunted by their experienced opponents. Instead, they disrupted Bath’s rhythm from the very beginning and forced Anna Stembridge into making multiple changes to try and find the answer.
Rebekah Airey starred at goal keeper, Jade Clarke was a stalwart through court and Rhinos Netball’s South African shooter Sigi Burger was controlled and composed under the post.
Young Player of the Round
London Pulse’s squad is packed with some of the best young talent that England has to offer and on day two in Birmingham, Alicia Scholes stepped up at wing attack.
Scholes’ speed in attack enabled her side to maintain their energy and momentum throughout the 60 minutes and her attacking interceptions added another layer of brilliance to her work.
The 20-year-old has risen through England’s age groups – moving from the U17s to the U21s in a little over 12 months – and she’s only in her first season with London Pulse after making the move from Manchester Thunder.
Scholes was promoted from the position of training partner to a full squad member earlier in the season and has a long Vitality Netball Superleague career ahead of her.
The Vitality Netball Superleague continues with Round 15 on Saturday. Loughborough Lightning’s encounter with Strathclyde Sirens will be streamed live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel from 7pm.
On Sunday, Wasps’ meeting with Leeds Rhinos Netball will also be streamed at 5pm. Celtic Dragons and London Pulse then will play in the feature game, live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Mix on Monday evening. Coverage begins at 5pm, with the first centre pass taking place at 5.30pm.