News

Vitality Superleague 2021: Tamsin Greenway picks key Grand Final battles as Loughborough faces Bath | Netball News


Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath Netball will battle for the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague title (Image credit – Morgan Harlow)

Two years after the last Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final, Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath will face off at the Copper Box – here’s all you need to know as the competition prepares to crown their final champions.

After the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sport has come back strong and two of its best teams have remained standing, ready to fight for the honor of lifting the trophy on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Five-time champions Team Bath and Loughborough Lightning were both semi-finalists beaten two years ago, but the Grand Final stage is now theirs.

Either Bath will lift the trophy for an unprecedented sixth time – but the first since 2013 – or Loughborough will win a long-awaited first Superleague title.

Vitality Superleague 2021: Tamsin Greenway picks key Grand Final battles as Loughborough faces Bath | Netball News

“A semi-final is not enough for this group, we wanted to be in a position where we could win it and now we are.

“It’s about rest and recovery, and also riding the crest of this wave because if we can play like that again, I support this team any day of the week.”

Serena Guthrie (Image credit – Morgan Harlow)

How they got here

On Saturday, Lightning overtook this season’s surprise semi-finalists Leeds Rhinos while Bath edged out defending champions Manchester Thunder in a thrilling contest.

Air sports Expert Tamsin Greenway believes seasoned Bath – who lost the last two games of the regular season – could have the advantage over the big games, although for Lightning they have very recent memories of a victory over Bath in of the last round of the regular season.

The two teams know each other well and last met in Round 20 on Monday night (Image credit - Morgan Harlow)

The two teams know each other well and last met in Round 20 on Monday night (Image credit – Morgan Harlow)

“I think we’re going to have a very different game than the one we saw the other week,” Greenway said. Sky sports.

“Netball is a fun game about games and the way teams react, but what we’ll see is a team from Bath that had to fight to cross the line against Thunder, while Lightning had a running back. -final easier.

“It will have an impact on how the teams come out.”

Bath has spent most of the season at the top of the table, losing just one game until the last two weeks of the season. As they faltered to finish third in the table, Anna Stembridge’s “big game players” stepped up to take out the defending champions.

The Lightning mainstays ended the season strong to end the regular season atop the standings, but only on goal difference, with the top three all finishing with 51 points.

It’s only fitting that two of them collide in the season finale – a season that has seen the sport more visible than ever.

Finals weekend has already brought out the best of Serena Guthrie, Imogen Allison, Layla Guscoth, Sam May, Beth Cobden and Nat Panagarry, and the fact that they will all be on the pitch for the conclusion should ensure that the season of Superleague ends on the highest of high notes.

Loughborough Lightning vs Team Bath Netball – Previous fixtures

First round Bain Netball 48-44 Loughborough Lightning Team
Round 20 Loughborough Lightning 54-35 Team Swim Netball

Greenway key players

Loughborough Lightning – We saw in the first semi-final the importance of the wing-attack / wing-defense position, so I’m going to Beth cobden – experience counts for everything as we saw in the two semi-finals.

She will have to face Rachel Shaw, who led the game for Bath once the game opens for her, but Cobden will be a much more difficult request. All of Bath’s issues on Saturday were about the players showing up and Cobden is leading Lightning in that regard

Team bath – Serena Guthrie was named player of the match thanks to that extra momentum, but we can’t underestimate Imogen Allison.

She was exceptional in the way she took the ball in the corners and in the pockets and Loughborough will have to watch how that develops. Hannah Joseph, who has been so dominant, will be against her, and she’ll have to do whatever she can to keep her off the ball.

In their own words – The coaches

Sara Francis-Bayman – Loughborough Lightning

“We struggled in the first half; you could obviously see the nerves there. Hopefully we got it out of our system so we can just play and enjoy it a bit on Sunday.

“Credit to Leeds, I thought they did a really good job in the first half in particular, and we just needed to tighten up a bit in defense and open up in attack. We’re sort of there. got to the end, but we’re not happy with the performance.

“I think I have to keep a veil on my emotions because if I start, I won’t stop.

“A lot of people have said how exhausting the season has been, and I think it is. Sunday is going to be a massive outing for everyone, but we still have one game.”

Vitality Superleague 2021: Tamsin Greenway picks key Grand Final battles as Loughborough faces Bath | Netball News

“We really want to express ourselves a little more, I think we looked a bit restricted and chained in the semi-final.

“I really want the girls to take the opportunity and give our opponent the best competition possible.”

Sara Francis-Bayman (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Anna Stembridge – Bath Team

“It meant everything and I actually feel pretty smothered. We’ve had a lot of criticism in the last two games but we’re our biggest critics and I’m so proud of the way the girls approached training.

“We knew it was going to be tough, the Thunder are a great team and this was exactly the semifinal netball fans deserved to see today.

“I feel pretty emotional. I’m just really, really proud of the team. I thought they were exceptional, thanks to Thunder too, I thought it was a great game.

“Absolutely ready for the final. We will enjoy this moment but we will be up to the task for tomorrow (Sunday).”

The Battle of the Keys to Greenway

Can shooting circles shoot?

The work of Kim Borger and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis is very important. Sometimes Drakeford-Lewis can become predictable with his move and that has happened against Thunder and Emma Dovey.

Team Bath Netball were exceptional on offense and found their way after a slow start (Image credit - Ben Lumley)

Team Bath Netball were exceptional on offense and found their way after a slow start (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

It’s about whether she can do enough work against Jazz Odeogberin and open the circle so they can hang on and spin rather than constantly moving.

On the other end, Guscoth versus Clark is vital. If you look at what Vicki Oyesola did for Leeds Rhinos by putting so much pressure on Clark in the first half, this is how it goes.

Eboni Usoro-Brown is a whole different kettle for Mary Cholhok, so it will be interesting to see how the other part of the offensive or defensive game goes.

Expert’s verdict

“It’s so tight, I don’t know which direction it’s going to go. In Saturday’s semi-finals, I didn’t know which direction it would go.

Nat Panagarry and Beth Cobden were exceptional for Loughborough Lightning in their semi-final (Image credit - Ben Lumley)

Nat Panagarry and Beth Cobden were exceptional for Loughborough Lightning in their semi-final (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

I thought Bath would compete well against Thunder and if Bath can play like that again they’ll beat Loughborough, but Lightning responded well to Dan Ryan and Rhinos’ plan after Saturday’s first quarter.

If they can consistently get their plans to the pitch, they could split Bath like they did last week.

Both teams will take a look at how things went today to see if there is anything they can do in the final.

You must have a plan of attack, but within it you must have “moments”. The touch on the pass, play it towards the line to open another phase of play, there is so much more to do in offensive play plans.

That said, I think there will be some set pieces that we will see, as they only have one night, so it can only be tweaks as they fix what went wrong and take the next step against different opponents. “

Before the final, Manchester Thunder and Leeds Rhinoceros Netball will compete in yet another “War of the Roses” and one of them will win a bronze medal in the Vitality Netball Superleague.

Karen Greig and Dan Ryan will both need to regain their squads soon after their respective losses in the semi-finals and put in a full 48-minute performance to finish third.

Sky Sports is your home of netball. The Vitality Netball Superleague continues on Sunday, with the third place match and the grand final live on Sky Sports Action and Mix and broadcast on the Sky Sports YouTube channel starting at 2:45 p.m.





Source link

Back to top button