NETBALL: WASPS Netball prevailed at the Barclaycard Arena on Sunday afternoon when defeating Loughborough Lightning to win the Vitality Netball Superleague in the club’s debut season.
Tamsin Greenway’s team toppled their Leicestershire outfit in a dramatic Grand Final which could have gone either way – Wasps eventually winning 55-51.
In a closely fought clash, the game was still up for grabs in the final minutes.
But a crucial interception by skipper Hannah Reid with seconds to go helped Wasps over the line.
Peace Proscovia showed why she is one of the most feared shooters in the Superleague, proving lethal in the opening stages for Loughborough.
Both teams set a high pace for the Grand Final in the first quarter, with players looking to force turnovers.
The combination of Greenway and Bongi Msomi in the midcourt set the tone for Wasps.
The pair looked to find veteran goal shooter Rachel Dunn at every opportunity.
With both sides exchanging goals with impressive attacking play, the first quarter ended with Wasps holding a slender one goal lead.
Wasps endured a tough start to the second quarter, with missed shots and mistakes leading to four unanswered Lightning goals.
But behind Dunn’s shooting and some fine defensive play, Wasps were back in the lead but only led by one at half-time.
Wasps started well after the break, with a flurry of goals from Dunn and Nat Haythornthwaite extending the lead.
Lightning stormed back, with Nat Panagarry exerting her influence from centre and disrupting Wasps play.
Only one goal separated the sides as the game entered the final 15 minutes and the atmosphere intensified.
Both teams maintained their offensive efficiency, with Dunn and Proscovia trading goals at both ends.
With one minute to play, Wasps captain Reid produced a incredible steal to give her team the ball back and gift her team the title of 2017 Superleague champions.
After the game, a proud Tamsin Greenway said the game could have gone either way.
She added: “It was the right final and the right two teams, we really showcased the best of netball today.
“I’m so proud of how we came through that at the end and everything that this group has done this season.
“We needed to win the ball earlier and to beat Lightning you have to take Peace Proscovia out of the equation and we had to make it harder for them to reach her.
“The support here was incredible – the crowd, the chants, having the home support was brilliant.
“When Hannah Reid made that last interception I knew we’d won it, I said someone would be a star today but she has been a star all season.”
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