Netball Superleague 2019: Thunder, Bath, Lightning & Mavericks all win

Manchester Thunder celebrate
Manchester Thunder players and staff celebrate the team's last-gasp win over Wasps

Manchester Thunder moved three points clear at the top of the Netball Superleague table with a dramatic 50-49 victory over title rivals Wasps in round 11 of the season.

And Loughborough Lightning won by a single goal for the second game in a row as they beat a stubborn Severn Stars 54-53.

Despite the defeat, Stars head coach Sam Bird said: "A huge thank you to our squad for the outstanding performance they put out.

"The strides we have made together from our first match are huge. We deserved a win. Proud to be the Stars head coach."

Wins for Bath, Lightning and Mavericks

Bath's tight 51-47 win over Strathclyde Sirens on Friday kept them in the hunt for a top-four spot, while Saracens Mavericks beat Surrey Storm to leapfrog Wasps and move into second place.

Mavericks are still without injured centre Gabby Marshall, but the experience of England internationals Sasha and Kadeen Corbin and shooting accuracy of George Fisher helped them over the line against an organised Storm.

Loughborough Lightning made hard work of their defeat of Stars, who could - and should - have taken the home win if they had not left it until the final quarter to catch up, when they outscored their visitors 14-7.

In Monday's fixtures, Celtic Dragons claimed a first home win of the season with a 62-51 victory over London Pulse, while Team Bath beat Stars 53-43.

Nat Panagarry
Loughborough Lightning's Natalie Panagarry

Game of the week - Manchester Thunder 50-49 Wasps

Wasps entered the Thunderdome on Saturday level on points with Manchester at the top of the table but in indifferent form, having lost two of their past three games, one of them against Thunder.

Desperate to avenge that home loss on 6 March - their first defeat of the season - the defending champions stayed in touch with Thunder, shrugging off the pressure of a vocal and hostile sell-out home crowd and took a lead into the final quarter.

But Thunder, known for their comebacks and never-give-up mentality, were one ahead with 10 seconds on the clock. In an attempt to level and force extra-time, Wasps centre Jade Clarke hurled the ball in to shooter Rachel Dunn but the feed was too long and it sailed out of court.

Wasps next face bottom side London Pulse on 31 March.

Pet therapy

Pets can be a welcome distraction after a long day at work.

They can provide you with love during your recovery from injury - as Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez often displays on his social media with his dogs Atom and Humber - and in netballer Jade Clarke's case, to offer comfort after defeat by her former side.

England and Wasps centre-courter Clarke suffered a one-goal defeat to Thunder in her hometown and her automatic response was to retreat to her dog, Oscar.

However, it looks like Oscar was more interested in where his next meal was coming from.

Jade Clarke

Results & fixtures

Friday, 22 March

Team Bath 51-47 Strathclyde Sirens

Saturday, 23 March

Manchester Thunder 50-49 Wasps

Severn Stars 53-54 Loughborough Lightning

Saracens Mavericks 58-50 Surrey Storm

Monday, 25 March

Celtic Dragons 62-51 London Pulse

Team Bath 53-43 Severn Stars

Vitality Netball Superleague table 2019
TeamPlayedWonLostForAgainstGoal DifferenceGoal AveragePoints
Manchester Thunder11926885681201.2127
Saracens Mavericks11836625191431.2824
Wasps11836505361141.2124
Team Bath1183613573401.0724
Loughborough Lightning1183626634-80.9924
Surrey Storm1147545612-670.8912
Celtic Dragons1147561631-700.8912
Severn Stars 1147550573-230.969
Strathclyde Sirens1129501616-1150.816
London Pulse11110541675-1340.803

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