Strathclyde Sirens claimed a major scalp in the Vitality Superleague with a thrilling comeback victory over Wasps.
The Scots again showed their stamina by dominating the second half and finished comfortable winners.
These sides had played out a thrilling 32-32 draw at the Wakefield Studio in March and for long spells there was little to choose this time around.
But the game was won in a pivotal third quarter in which Sirens started three goals behind but finished leading 34-28 following a collapse in confidence in their English opponents.
That lead was cut to three inside the fourth but Sirens held their nerve and managed to pull away towards the end.
Strong defensive pressure and stability under the post through Emma Barrie and Niamh McCall was key to Sirens late push.
Technical Director Karen Atkinson said: “We knew it would be goal for goal for large parts and tried to remind the team that that’s OK. We were pleased we could withstand the pressure. The atmosphere is fantastic and training is brilliant.”
If Emily had a Nicholl for every intercept she made… 💰😉
— Vitality Netball Superleague (@NetballSL) May 16, 2021
Wasps entered the break three goals up at 22-19.
Some wayward circle feeds from Sirens saw a few balls fly off the side lines, as 19-year-old Sirens shooter Barrie initially struggled with the physicality from Wasps keeper Josie Huckle. Wasps applied plenty of their trademark defensive pressure through Huckle and Goal Defence Fran Williams, who earlier this week was named in the England Roses national squad for 2021.
After spending some time on the bench, Goal Attack McCall re-entered the game in the third quarter and commanded the attacking third.
Captain Gia Abernethy applied plenty of defensive pressure through the midcourt in her player of the match performance at Centre.
Abernethy was thrilled with her team’s determination to push on in the second half, saying: “We were very much looking forward to this game as a winnable game, and that hunger we had….I cannot believe how good that last half was.”
The victory sees Sirens move up to sixth in the Superleague, keeping their slim hopes of a finals place alive.