sports gazette

Loughborough Lightning strike to reach Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final

Loughborough Lightning in semi-final action vs. Team Bath Netball
Published: 11 Jun 2017

Loughborough Lightning beat Team Bath 66-45 to secure their place in the Grand Final.

The league leaders continued their imperious form from the regular season to down the five-time champions.

England U21 international Vicki Oyesola was thrilled with how the game panned out and their margin of victory.

She said: “We really worked for each other out on court, kept pushing on throughout the game and won every quarter.

“It was really good at the end as we were able to get everyone on court, which is really impressive for a semi-final.”

Karen Atkinson’s side comfortably saw the game out with the deadly duo of Vanessa Walker and Peace Proscovia landing shot after shot.

The Blue and Gold kept battling until the end in what was a very fiery affair but Proscovia admitted she was completely unfazed by the physicality.

She said: “I’m used to it because I’ve been a basketball player where I’ve played more rough games.

“So meeting a very physical game like that is usual to me – I’m not afraid of it.

“Basketball background has really helped me because if I didn’t have a basketball background, I would have been taking everything personally – to an extent of maybe fighting on court!”

Credit also has to go to the Lightning defensive pairing of Oyesola and Joanna Trip.

When asked what makes their partnership work so well, Oyesola said: “I think just through training, working together, trying different things.

“We’ve played all season together now in the backs so our partnership has just grown stronger and stronger in every game.

“We feed off each other really well and communication itself is really strong.”

Oyesola and Trip will be hoping to replicate their impressive display on Sunday, when they face Wasps in the Grand Final.

The turnaround to their last, and most important, game of season is quite quick, but Lightning have been preparing

Proscovia said: “The past few weeks our coaches have been putting us in a similar circumstance, whereby we play on a Saturday, train on a Sunday, so we are used to it.

“It’s not any different. I believe everything is psychological.”

The Ugandan netballer was also full of praise for coach Atkinson, who has quietly gone about her job in developing the club and moulding the players into strong units.

She said: “Karen has been of a great help – she prepares us both mentally and physically.

“Generally, the entire coaching team is fantastic.”

Lightning are now hoping to get the ultimate prize as reward for all the hard work – their first Superleague title.

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