Netball Superleague: Strathclyde Sirens hold Wasps to thrilling draw

By Jess AndersonBBC Sport
Sirens v Wasps
Sirens have won three of their eight league matches so far, drawing two and losing three

Strathclyde Sirens continued their best start to a Superleague season with a hard-fought 32-32 draw against two-time champions Wasps.

Having held Saracens Mavericks last weekend, the Glasgow-based outfit have now drawn twice against top-four teams.

Head coach Karen Atkinson said she was "mostly frustrated" and felt her side "should have won" as they held a two-goal lead one minute from full-time.

Team Bath won twice to knock Loughborough Lightning off the top.

They remain unbeaten after a 50-30 win over Surrey Storm and a challenging 47-36 victory over impressive Strathclyde Sirens in their second game of the round.

After successive defeats last weekend, Manchester Thunder returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 69-33 victory over struggling Celtic Dragons.

Mavericks beat local rivals London Pulse 39-32 in a close encounter.

Wins for Bath, Thunder & Mavericks

Bath's bid for the top of the table started with victory over a dogged Storm, where they initially struggled to assert themselves but led by eight goals at half-time and once again showed their strength in depth as they swapped Eboni Usoro-Brown for Roses team-mate Summer Artman.

They also secured victory over Sirens, who could have been forgiven for looking fatigued after their draw with Wasps the day before, but instead put the most decorated side in Superleague through their paces, chasing Bath's lead to the final whistle.

England Rose Serena Guthrie put in a magnificent mid-court display to help her team emerge from the round with their 100% record intact with seven wins from seven.

Elsewhere, Malawi international Joyce Mvula shot an incredible 47 from 50 to make up the bulk of Thunder's goals as they got their top-four pursuit on track with victory over Dragons.

Dragons - the only team still without a win - started well in an intense opening quarter and trailed the defending champions by just three goals heading into the second.

But they managed just four goals in the second period, and Thunder upped the tempo with the introduction of Alicia Scholes to run away with victory.

Mavericks overcame Pulse in a tightly contested match but were made to work for the three points as they lost the third quarter by two, but held on to their narrow lead to secure the win.

In Monday's second game, Leeds Rhinos ground out a 42-38 win over Severn Stars.

Stars wouldn't go away and chased Rhinos' lead for the majority of the 48 minutes but the Superleague newcomers clung on for victory.

Game of the week - Sirens 32-32 Wasps

Emma Barrie & Josie Huckle
The 32-32 draw between Sirens and Wasps was only the second under this season's Superleague rules which permit draws

In previous seasons this fixture may have been referred to as a 'David versus Goliath' contest - the two-time champions against a side who were fresh to the Superleague in 2017 - but not this time.

Atkinson's side, who finished second from bottom in 2019, have been the league's surprise outfit this season and felt hard done by not to have come away with a victory against a side with four wins from seven.

The Scottish outfit took a deserved 25-23 lead into the final quarter but, after converting their centre pass, Wasps picked off a pass from an otherwise superb Gia Abernethy, resulting in a last-minute equalising goal from Rachel Dunn.

Atkinson told Sky Sports: "I think we were in control for large periods of the game but there was just a bit of naivety in the end. I'm so proud of their fight, determination and spirit - defensively I thought we were excellent."

Results & fixtures

Round seven

Sunday, 21 March

Manchester Thunder 69-33 Celtic Dragons

Saracens Mavericks 39-32 London Pulse

Surrey Storm 30-50 Team Bath

Strathclyde Sirens 32-32 Wasps

Monday, 22 March

Team Bath 47-36 Strathclyde Sirens

Leeds Rhinos 42-38 Severn Stars

Vitality Netball Superleague table 2021
TeamPlayedWonLostDrawForAgainstGoal DifferencePoints
Team Bath770035924311621
Loughborough Lightning761038427411018
Wasps Netball74213202724813
Saracens Mavericks64112652471813
Manchester Thunder64203182397912
Leeds Rhinos7430321319212
Strathclyde Sirens8332297304-711
Surrey Storm8260329385-566
London Pulse6150228254-263
Severn Stars6150200302-1023
Celtic Dragons7070242420-1780
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