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Vitality Netball Superleague: Spring Showdown at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena | Netball News

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Every match of the Spring Showdown will be live on Sky Sports as all 11 Superleague teams take to court inside the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham; the action starts at 12:30pm on Saturday on Sky Sports Action and Mix with Loughborough Lightning against Surrey Storm

Last Updated: 15/04/22 12:53pm




Loughborough Lightning will be one of the first teams to take to court in Birmingham (Image credit: Loughborough Sport)

Everything you need to know as all 11 Vitality Netball Superleague teams head to the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham for the ‘Spring Showdown’ on Saturday and Sunday.

Over the course of the two days, 10 matches will take place with every encounter being shown live on Sky Sports and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel for viewers in the UK and Ireland.

Manchester Thunder head into the weekend as the only unbeaten team in the competition, with last year’s champions Loughborough Lightning six points behind them in second position the table.


Anna Stembridge’s Team Bath Netball follow in third, with London Pulse occupying the final play-off position.


Fixtures and coverage

The Spring Showdown marks Rounds 13 and 14 of the Vitality Netball Superleague season. Following the conclusion of the final match on Sunday, there are just six rounds left of the regular season.

The top four teams will then qualify for the play-offs and the 2022 Grand Final will take place at the Copper Box Arena on June 5.

Vitality Netball Superleague – Spring Showdown

Saturday Sunday
1pm Lightning vs Storm Sky Sports Arena and Mix 12pm Bath vs Rhinos Sky Sports Action and Mix
2.45pm Rhinos vs Dragons Sky Sports Arena and Mix 1.45pm Dragons vs Lightning Sky Sports Action and Mix
4.30pm Thunder vs Sirens Sky Sports Arena 3.30pm Storm vs Thunder Sky Sports Action and Mix
6.15pm Wasps vs Pulse Sky Sports Arena 5.15pm Pulse vs Mavericks Sky Sports Action and Mix
8pm Mavs vs Stars Sky Sports Mix 7pm Stars vs Wasps Sky Sports Action and Mix

Get ready for goals galore!

With Proscovia Peace shooting at one end and Mary Cholhok at the other, the first match of the Spring Showdown on Saturday will be a shooting masterclass.

Together, the two international shooters have scored 1,025 goals over the course of the season so far and occupy the top two positions in the bid for the Gilbert Golden Shot award.

Mary Cholhok has continued to be a prolific shooter in the competition this season

Mary Cholhok has continued to be a prolific shooter in the competition this season

The Gilbert Golden Shot is an accolade handed to the player who has scored the most goals during the regular season.

The challenge for both sets of defenders will be to shut the ball down early and prevent it reaching the circle edge.

With 12 rounds having been played already, the likes of Hannah Joseph and Yasmin Parsons have their eyes in from a feeding perspective and should be able to make the most of their respective shooters’ accuracy.

Play-off rivals set to meet

London Pulse are living up to their on-paper potential (Image credit: Ben Lumley)

London Pulse are living up to their on-paper potential (Image credit: Ben Lumley)

On Sunday afternoon, London Pulse and Saracens Mavericks will take to the court and face-off against each other.

The two teams head into the double-header weekend sitting in fourth and fifth in the table and level on points with Bath above them.

Mavericks are an outfit that have suffered play-off anguish for a number of seasons, while Pulse are pushing hard for a first top-four finish.

Pulse’s fans will be eager to see if Funmi Fadoju is fit to take to court. It was announced by the club on April 4 that Fadoju has sustained an injury and was being managed by both Pulse and England’s Vitality Roses.

Saracens Mavericks are searching for consistency in order to reach the play-offs  (Image credit: Morgan Harlow)

Saracens Mavericks are searching for consistency in order to reach the play-offs (Image credit: Morgan Harlow)

Meanwhile, Saracens Mavericks’ fans will wish to see Temalisi Fakahokotau in action after her recent arrival from New Zealand.

Elsewhere on court, England head coach Jess Thirlby should enjoy watching how Olivia Tchine takes on Mavericks’ English defenders of Jodie Gibson and Razia Quashie.

Thirlby’s notebook

Speaking of England’s head coach, Thirlby will have had this weekend marked in her diary for a long time and rejoice in being able to see all 11 Superleague teams in one place.

Following the news of Serena Guthrie’s pregnancy and decision to retire from the game, Thirlby has plenty to think about ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

The competition takes place in the city of Birmingham from July 29 to August 8 and England will be trying to defend the title they won on the Gold Coast in 2018.

Jess Thirlby's England side will start the defence of their Commonwealth Games title on July 29

Jess Thirlby’s England side will start the defence of their Commonwealth Games title on July 29

For England’s established players, this weekend will be a chance to reinforce their position in Thirlby’s mind, for others it’s a chance to state their case loudly in person.

Will we see Sophie Drakeford-Lewis spending some time at wing attack? Will Laura Malcolm slot in for further game time at Centre? Will Fadoju be fit? All of these questions will be answered over the course of the two days of action.

Coaches set to depart

Wasps Netball and Team Bath Netball will be back in action for the first time since the announcements from their respective head coaches that they will be stepping down at the end of the season.

Mel Mansfield was appointed as assistant coach prior to the franchise’s inaugural season in the competition and moved into the role of head coach in 2019.

Meanwhile Stembridge will be ending a two-decade association with Team Bath when this season finishes. She is in her second spell with the franchise in a coaching capacity, having also been a player in the pre-Superleague Super Cup-winning squad.

Both coaches’ teams will be eager to deliver for their departing head coaches as the rounds tick by and putting on a show in front of a packed house at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena will be the best way to start.

Watch the Vitality Netball Superleague ‘Spring Showdown’ live on Sky Sports this weekend. The action starts with Loughborough Lightning versus Surrey Storm at 12:30pm on Saturday on Sky Sports Action and Mix.





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