England-based netball stars Joyce Mvula and Lauren Ngwira on Saturday helped Manchester Thunder earn a fourth-straight win in the Vitality Netball Super League as their compatriot Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda ensured Severn Stars secured their first victory.
Defending champions Thunder beat Surrey Storm 60-42 to keep a tight grip at the summit of the 10-team log-table with 12 points, three ahead of second-placed Team Bath and third-placed London Pulse, who are tied on nine points.
BBC Sport reported that shooter Mvula was the main architect of the Thunder’s victory as she calmly converted under the loop alongside her shooting partner Ellie Cardwell.
“Thunder were made to work for their win at Surrey Sports Park, but their shooting duo of Joyce Mvula and Ellie Cardwell were calm under Storm’s defensive pressure, as they maintained their 100 percent start to the season,” read part of the report..
On their part, Mvula and goalkeeper Ngwira, who was also at her best on the defensive end with some sublime intercepts, said it feels great to be on the right track on their title-defence campaign.
On the other hand, Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, who has just embarked on her professional netball career overseas, heaved a sigh of relief when her side outclassed last season’s runners-up Wasps 59-54 to get their first win in four league games.
They are now second from the bottom of the table on inferior basket difference after a tie on three points with fifth-placed Strathclyde Sirens, sixth-positioned Loughborough Lighting, seventh-placed Surrey Storm and eighth-placed Wasps. Celtic Dragons anchor the table with no point from three games.
“I am happy that finally we have won a league match. Prior to this, I must admit, it had been a painful experience to lose three straight matches. I am confident that we will maintain our current form in our next outings,” Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda said.
Nevertheless, BBC Sport reported that the matches were played despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far disrupted sporting events worldwide.
“Sporting events worldwide have been disrupted by the virus outbreak, but [Vitality] league bosses announced on Friday that round-four fixtures would go ahead as scheduled,” it stated.