Loughborough Lightning made it two wins from two, dominating the second and third quarters to take a 14-goal win against Celtic Dragons.
The fixture welcomed all fans back to the Sir David Wallace Sports Hall for the season’s first home game and marked the 150th Lightning appearance for Hannah Joseph.
It was an aggressive start from both teams straight from the centre pass with an especially strong defensive effort from both Alice Harvey and Fran Williams for Loughborough Lightning to create many turnovers in play across the court. Lightning looked confident and vocal in their play.
Lightning presented strongly in the attack with Mary Cholhok and Emma Thacker commanding the final third. With the run of play seeming extremely fast-paced, Lightning communicated effectively across the court to secure a three-goal lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter brought continued fierce play from both teams. Despite Dragon’s retaliation in goals, Lightning extended their lead through key interceptions from Williams in the upheld Lightning defence.
Interceptions were matched from the Dragon’s central players on the court and their attack remained
Fast thinking from Joseph in the centre of the court enabled Lightning to regain possession of Cholhok’s reliable shooting. Towards the end of the quarter, Head Coach Vic Burgess made a tactical substitution in attack swapping Thacker for Rhea Dixon, bringing Dixon’s second game for Lightning.
Lightning further asserted their tireless play across all aspects of the team to increase their lead. Prior to substitution at centre for Hannah Williams, Nat Panagarry continued to accurately pass around the opposition.
Suzie Liverseidge replaced Joseph at wing-attack and added to the committed Lightning attack. Despite a vocal bench of substitutions from the visitors, Lightning scored nineteen goals in the third quarter and did not show any signs of allowing the Dragons any easy possession or opportunities.
Several key decisions from the umpires during the third quarter in the attacking third saw the Dragon’s goal defence warned for dangerous play.
The final quarter saw a triple substitution for Lightning with Zanele Vimbela swapping for Fran Williams at goal defence, Thacker entering the court for Cholhok at goal shooter and Bella Baylis was introduced onto court for her second game for Lightning in place of Jas Odeogberin at wing defence.
Lightning relished in the changes and their game only got stronger in attack and defence. Dragon’s game had significantly increased in tempo however, as 10 goals were scored within the first half of the quarter in attempt to make up the score difference.
Match report provided by Loughborough Lightning