THROWBACK: Sunday 11 June 2017 - Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final
Wasps Netball 55-51 Loughborough Lightning
Wasps Netball have been crowned as champion’s in their first ever Vitality Netball Superleague season.
Tamsin Greenway’s team toppled favourites Loughborough Lightning in a dramatic Grand Final, which saw Wasps win 55-51 at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.
It was a closely fought clash that was still up for grabs until the final minutes, when captain Hannah Reid intercepted the ball to win the league title game for her team.
Wasps Director of Netball Tamsin Greenway said: “It could have gone either way. 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 today, 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.”
Peace Proscovia showed why she is one of the most feared shooters in the Superleague, proving lethal in the opening stages for Loughborough Lightning.
Both teams set a high pace for the Grand Final in the first quarter, with players flying to the ball all over the court and looking to force turnovers.
The combination of Greenway and Bongi Msomi in the midcourt set the tone for Wasps, looking 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 an incredible steal to give her team the ball back and gift her team the title of 2017 Superleague champions.
Player of the match: Bongi Msomi
Wasps starting seven: GK Josie Huckle; GD Hannah Reid; WD Amy Flanagan; C Bongi Msomi; WA Tamsin Greenway; GA Natalie Haythornthwaite; GS Rachel Dunn
Loughborough Lightning starting seven: GK Trip; GD Oyesola; WD Cobden; C Panagarry; WA Joseph; GA Walker; GS Proscovia