Match report: Strathclyde Sirens 41-56 Wasps Netball
Wasps Netball continued to build momentum for the Vitality Netball Superleague semi-finals with a 56-41 win against Strathclyde Sirens.
Mel Mansfield’s side consolidated their position at the top of the league with victory in Glasgow – and secured a home semi-final with three points.
It was a hard-fought victory, with the game close throughout, but Wasps built a lead in the second-quarter and were able to maintain their advantage.
Mansfield said: “It was an interesting game, we wanted to get through it and build into our semi-final and we did that.
“It was close but we won each quarter. We knew it was going to be tough physically, but we played through that.
“The journey up to Glasgow is always difficult, but every player had to put in a good shift today and I’m really pleased with how Tamsin Moala stepped up.
“It’s all about the semi-final now for us and we’re moving well toward our goals.”
Sirens kept pace with Wasps in the early stages of the match, with both sides forcing turnovers and breaking up attacking play.
The visitors were able to gain a slender two-goal advantage after an interception from Jade Clarke in the mid-court.
Star shooter Rachel Dunn showed her experience around the net to create space and score for her side, despite close attention from Sirens’ Goal Keeper Hayley Mulheron.
The gap remained at two for the remainder of the first-quarter, as the two teams continued to impress defensively.
The home side were back level within the first few minutes of the second-quarter, with Mansfield introducing Moala at Goal Attack for the visitors.
Wasps fired back quickly to rebuild the two-goal lead, but were immediately pegged back by the hosts.
Bongi Msomi, Moala and Dunn combined to spark a run of goals that saw the Black and Golds take control – with Dunn’s long-range shooting a key factor.
Sirens forced a turnover but Fran Williams won the ball back, as the table-toppers’ swift attacking play helped them to lead by five by the close of the second-quarter.
The hosts opened the scoring in the third-quarter and forced a turnover on the following possession, as the Scottish side looked to reduce the deficit.
Wasps showed their resilience and the defensive effort from Hannah Knights and Josie Huckle saw them retain their lead.
The visiting side started to increase their advantage, as the shooting combination of Moala and Dunn started to click.
Both sides exchanged interceptions but Sirens struggled to contain the Wasps attackers and by the end of the third-quarter the advantage had reached double figures.
Katie Harris returned to the action for the final-quarter and linked up well with Clarke to quickly score.
Mansfield introduced Sam May at Goal Keeper, as her side continued to widen their lead.
Chloe Essam entered the court at Wing Attack for the final minutes, as Harris impressed with a clinical shooting display as Wasps sealed a 56-41 victory.
Wasps starting seven: GK Hannah Knights; GD Fran Williams; WD Amy Flanagan; C Jade Clarke; WA Bongi Msomi; GA Katie Harris; GS Rachel Dunn
Used substitutes: Tamsin Moala (GA); Josie Huckle (GK); Sam May (GK); Chloe Essam (WA).