Every match of the Spring Showdown will be live on Sky Sports and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel as all 11 Superleague teams take to court inside the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham
Last Updated: 16/04/22 3:59pm
Ella Clark worked hard for Lightning in attack (Image credit: Ben Lumley)
Loughborough Lightning beat Surrey Storm 57-54 in the opening game of the Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown, despite both Mary Cholhok and captain Nat Panagarry being unavailable.
International shooter Cholhok and captain Panagarry were both declared unavailable just an hour before the first centre pass and the loss of the duo caused many to mark Storm as favourites.
Cholhok has scored 499 goals for Lightning this season, with only Storm’s Proscovia Peace accumulating more in the league while Panagarry provides leadership and determination in mid-court.
However, Victoria Burgess’ team used the 60 minutes of netball against Storm to illustrate their depth, as both experienced individuals and younger players delivered.
Ella Clark stepped into the goal shooter role superbly and at the other end of the court, Alice Harvey worked tirelessly marking Peace and linking up with Fran Williams.
The result means Lightning have only lost one match this season and they face Celtic Dragons on Sunday.
Storm also have a quick turnaround ahead of their second match of the Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown, when they take on league leaders Manchester Thunder.
Vitality Netball Superleague – Spring Showdown
|1pm||Lightning 57-54 Storm||12pm||Bath vs Rhinos||Sky Sports Action and Mix|
|2.45pm||Rhinos vs Dragons||Sky Sports Arena and Mix||1.45pm||Dragons vs Lightning||Sky Sports Action and Mix|
|4.30pm||Thunder vs Sirens||Sky Sports Arena||3.30pm||Storm vs Thunder||Sky Sports Action and Mix|
|6.15pm||Wasps vs Pulse||Sky Sports Arena||5.15pm||Pulse vs Mavericks||Sky Sports Action and Mix|
|8pm||Mavs vs Stars||Sky Sports Mix||7pm||Stars vs Wasps||Sky Sports Action and Mix|
After losing the first quarter by four goals, Lightning used their defensive prowess to deliver a stunning momentum change during the second and win it by 10 goals.
Harvey, Fran Williams and Beth Cobden worked exceptionally hard to disrupt the feeds into Peace, with goal keeper Harvey being awarded the player of the match.
Harvey finished her afternoon’s work with four deflections, two turnovers and two interceptions. Williams, in front of England head coach Jess Thirlby, added a further four turnovers and three interceptions.
Loughborough Lightning vs Surrey Storm – Quarter-by-quarter scores
Due to Lightning’s productive second quarter, Surrey Storm trailed 30-24 at half-time. However, Mikki Austin’s team used the interval well and the head coach made personnel changes.
Austin took herself to the bench, introduced the experienced Sophia Candappa in at wing attack and shifted Yasmin Parsons out to centre.
Candappa continuously looked to Peace and in defence both Leah Middleton and Grace Sullivan disrupted Lighting’s work moving forwards. The result was another one-sided quarter, this time in Storm’s favour.
The last set of 15 minutes went goal for goal for a significant period of time, before Lightning edged 51-49 ahead with six minutes to play.
Emma Thacker’s arrival at goal attack had created a new dynamic for Lightning and it forced Storm to make defensive changes.
After a key contact call in Storm’s attacking end, Lightning put their foot on the accelerator for one last time in order to see the contest out.
The Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown continues with four further matches on Saturday and five on Sunday. Every match is live on Sky Sports and streamed live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.
Source by www.skysports.com