Netball Superleague: Bath silence Sirens in Glasgow - round-up
Four round-two Superleague matches went ahead this weekend, despite teams missing key players to International Quad Series duty.
Team Bath - without England duo Serena Guthrie and Eboni Usuro-Brown - resisted a Strathclyde Sirens fightback to win in Glasgow.
Loughborough Lightning edged a tight encounter with Severn Stars to get their first points of the season.
There were also victories for Celtic Dragons and Saracens Mavericks.
Game of the week - Sirens 45-55 Team Bath
Team Bath pulled off a challenging away win in Glasgow against a Sirens team buoyed by the arrival of former New Zealand international shooter Cat Tuivaiti.
Both sides comfortably won their opening tie of the season at Super 10 and although Sirens were chasing the game from the first period, they were relentless in their efforts and refused to let Bath relax.
But Bath showed their experience in this league against tricky opposition to see out the win and top the Superleague table.
Tuivaiti, 32, posted an emotional message on Instagram following the loss, alluding to her struggles in returning to fitness after undergoing knee reconstruction in 2018.
"Sport isn't always kind. We deserve to feel the disappointment of losing, just like we deserved the elation of success. We learn. I also realise that after injury, I enjoy the opportunity to take the court no matter what.
"The Sirens home crowd was incredible."
- Serena Guthrie column: England Quad Series win can set tone for World Cup
- International Quad Series: England beat New Zealand 54-41 in opening game
Round two champagne moment - Celtic Dragons win on the road
The Welsh outfit pulled off a remarkable away victory against league newcomers London Pulse, winning 40-67.
It was Dragons' first Superleague win since March 2018, when they edged past Severn Stars 49-40.
Shooter Chelsea Lewis and Kalifa McCollin finished the match at London's Copper Box with 100% and 90% accuracy, respectively.
Head coach Tania Hoffman, who joined Dragons from Surrey Storm last July, told BBC Sport Wales: "It was only the second round (of league games) but it was really important for us to get a win on the table, just for the confidence but to show we've been working really hard."
On the phone - Sara Bayman
This week, we've got Loughborough Lightning head coach Sara Bayman to dissect her side's hard-fought 52-44 win over Severn Stars, who remain pointless in the table.
Lightning, 2018's beaten finalists, brought ex-England international Bayman into the fold to replace Karen Atkinson in the off-season.
The 34-year-old says it was "important to get a win on the board" ahead of a tough run of fixtures against Mavericks, Sirens and Bath - and following a heavy 30-goal defeat to Wasps in the opening round.
"We didn't make any changes in training between the loss in the first week [against Wasps] and this game," Bayman told BBC Sport.
"We learnt we can't fade in and out of games and not be competitive. We need to mentally attack the game.
"Against Stars, we were a lot better as it was a closer game and we had better Intensity, energy and execution."
Superleague Round two results
Friday, 11 January
Strathclyde Sirens 45-55 Team Bath
Saturday, 12 January
Loughborough Lightning 52-44 Severn Stars
Surrey Storm 39- 59 Saracens Mavericks
London Pulse 40-67 Celtic Dragons
Wednesday, 6 March (rescheduled)
Wasps v Manchester Thunder (19:00 GMT)
|Superleague table 2019|
The Superleague will take a break this weekend due to the International Quad Series taking place at the Copper Box on 19-20 January.
It will return for round three on Friday, 25 January as Saracens Mavericks host Loughborough Lightning and Celtic Dragons travel to Severn Stars.