Lightning bank another impressive win against Team Bath in round two

Loughborough Lightning in a team huddle

On Saturday, Lightning welcomed Team Bath to campus for their first fixture of the season held at Sir David Wallace. Fans arrived in their numbers to support the team in their challenge to retain the Super League title.

Despite an injury scare during the season opener, captain Nat Panagarry led her team to court as Head Coach Vic Burgess named and unchanged starting seven. 

The first quarter saw Panagarry work effectively within the position of centre, helping to navigate around Bath’s defensive side and bring the ball down the court in order to progress Lightning’s score.

Elsewhere on the attacking front, Hannah Joseph worked well to feed the ball to Mary Cholhok, giving Lightning their first few goals to propel them onwards within the game. Impressively, Cholhok’s dominance was met by some strong defensive plays via Team Bath player Jayda Pechova, who last came up against Cholhok in the Netball Nations Cup.

Lightning also worked well defensively, with a rebound received by Nicola Smith sending the ball straight back down the court. Aside from rebounds, Smith also made some impressive interceptions, paralleling the attacking work of Bath’s Sophie Kelly and Sloan Burton.

Moving into the second quarter, Lightning made sure to perfect their attacking presence, with the ball travelling down court with ease through Panagarry and Hannah Joseph, straight to Cholhok.

Similarly, Bath attempted to rise to Lightning’s attacking capabilities by showing some impressive plays, with attackers Bethan Dyke and Burton rising to the high standards set by Lightning’s shooters.

Half time: Loughborough Lightning 42- 21 Team Bath


Quarter three began with Lightning adding more points to the board,  with Annabel Roddy taking over for Nicola Smith from a defensive viewpoint. Whereas Bella Baylis took over for Panagarry at centre, helping to bring the ball down the court.

The third quarter also saw Niamh McCall’s debut for Loughborough Lightning, after transitioning from her former Super League team Strathclyde Sirens. At goal attack, she made her mark on court, working well with Cholhok to push Lightning further towards their second win.

A strong contest between Lightning’s Alice Harvey and Bath’s Kadeen Corbin saw Team Bath add to their score, yet Lightning still led out in front, progressing well towards the end of the penultimate quarter.

Lightning remained strong with an impressive attacking dynamic taking place between McCall and Ella Clark, with Clark replacing Cholhok. Clark’s arrival onto the court caused great excitement for Lightning fans in the crowd.

The final quarter saw the attacking teamwork between Clark and McCall continue, allowing Lightning to extend their lead and move closer towards victory.

Rhea Dixon re-joined the court as wing-attack, whereas Jade Popoola took over for Beth Cobden at wing-defence, hoping to make an equally impressive defensive impact.

Despite Lightning’s impressive lead, Bath’s defensive side remained a challenging opposition with Lisa Putt rising to the challenge of contending with the ease and composure of Lightning’s attackers. Yet, Clark and McCall indeed found their attacking rhythm on court, giving Lightning a confident 37-point lead as the final quarter drew to a close.

In the end, Loughborough Lightning were ultimately the stronger side, winning against Team Bath, seeing Lightning player Beth Cobden take player of the match.

Full-time: Loughborough Lightning 83 - 46 Team Bath 

When asked about the impressive score from Lightning’s performance today Alice Harvey stated, “I think there’s still areas that we can work on, our start in particular, and if we can really have a four-quarter performance, we can just push that score line even more.”

Overall, a very strong game from the squad as she adds: “Our through court defence is something we really pride ourselves on.”

After such an impressive performance, head coach Vic Burgess was happy to comment on the teams’ achievements, simply stating that “It was great today…really proud”.

Following their second win of the season, Lightning progress onwards to face London Pulse on Saturday the 2ndof February at the Copper Box Arena in London, where they intend to keep their winning streak alive.

Tickets to Lightning’s 2024 home campaign are on sale now and can be purchased here.  

Starting line-up: 

GS: Mary Cholhok 

GA: Rhea Dixon 

WA: Hannah Joseph 

C: Nat Panagarry 

WD: Beth Cobden

GD: Nicola Smith

GK: Alice Harvey