Loughborough Lightning moved to within six points of leaders Wasps after a dominant display secured a 66-38 victory over Celtic Dragons in Cardiff on Monday night.
After a weekend of results that saw the chasing pack draw level with Anna Carter’s team, Lightning issued the perfect response with victory over a Dragons side who suffered a third heavy defeat in succession.
Loughborough’s fast start set the tone and despite a Dragons side sticking to their task, the hosts never threatened to turn the deficit around and it was Lightning who recorded the win.
Three points means last year’s runners-up close in on the champions Wasps, who have a perfect record of 11 wins from their 11 games – but perhaps, more importantly, pull three points clear of Team Bath, Manchester Thunder and benecos Mavericks.
Vitality Superleague Round 12 Results Saturday Sirens 45-59 Wasps Surrey Storm 51-56 Team Bath Team Northumbria 51-58 Manchester Thunder Severn Stars 55-44 benecosMavericks Monday Celtic Dragons 38-66 Loughborough Lightning
Peace Proscovia and Ella Clark made few mistakes under the posts helping Lightning to an early 10-goal lead in the first quarter but after a nervous start, Dragons closed the gap to nice after the first 15 minutes.
It was more of the same in the second quarter, only Lightning were able to repel the Dragons mini-revival with Shameera Sterling and Vicky Oyesola excelling in the defensive circle and helping to secure a 35-14 lead at half-time.
Carter made changes and with a big lead, Lightning were able to consolidate and their 21-goal lead became 29 heading into the final 15 minutes.
To Dragons’ credit, they edged the final quarter 15-14, Georgia Rowe showcasing her shooting prowess as the Welsh outfit managed to put together some fluid attacking phases to delight the home crowd.
But it was not enough as Lightning saw out the victory that keeps them in the driving seat for a return to the Superleague semi-finals.
Lightning are back in action on Friday night when they head north of the border to take on bottom of the table Sirens, while Dragons get an extra day off before travelling to face another top-four contender in Mavericks.
2018 Vitality Superleague Week 13 – Fixtures Friday UWS Sirens v Loughborough Lightning 7pm Surrey Storm v Wasps 7.45pm Saturday benecosMavericks v Celtic Dragons 3pm Manchester Thunder v Severn Stars 5pm Monday Team Bath v Team Northumbria 7pm – live on Sky Sports
Our live coverage of the Superleague continues next Monday when Team Bath host Team Northumbria https://twitter.com/SkyNetballfrom 6.45pm on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Mix, channel 121, which is free for all Sky customers.
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