Vitality Netball Premier League: Loughborough Lightning Drives Devil Ends 15 Years of Championship Waiting | Netball News


The Loughborough Chargers defeated the Bath netball team with 17 goals on Sunday to win the championship (Photo credit-Morgan Harlow)

The Loughborough Chargers’ 15-year wait for the first dynamic netball Super League champion is finally over, ending with an extraordinary finals performance under the most intense spotlight.

The first Vitality Netball Super League Finals was held in Guildford Spectrum in 2006. The match was played by the Bath Netball team and the Mavericks. That season, the Loughborough Chargers finished fourth.

Two years later, Lightning entered the finals for the first time. After leading 21-14 at halftime, the difficult game in the third quarter brought the Mavericks back to the game. The full-time whistle marked the first time the Chargers tasted the heartbreak of the Finals.

They didn’t know that it was nine years later that they would participate in the season-defined game again. Even so, victory is still in sight. Losing back to back to the Hornets in the 2017 and 2018 finals was very injured, and the second final was shocked by Beth Cobden’s ACL injury.

In short, the finals and finals weekend are not lightning friends-until this season.

Listing Lightning’s losses is not to remind them of the bad times, but to emphasize how hard they worked to enjoy the celebrations on the Copper Box Arena on Sunday night.

Captain Nat Panagari, Hannah Joseph and Cobden, who performed well on the final weekend, have all experienced the last two back-to-back final defeats and experienced the pain of witnessing the latter’s terrible injuries in 2018.

However, despite Sarah Francis-Beman publicly stated that many of her players have entered the 2021 Finals weekend, “the little devil on the shoulders” kept reminding them of losses, but Lightning won.

In the 20th round, Lightning disbanded Team Bath Netball with 19 goals, which left a deep impression…The highest position in the standings that day was online, but it was not a knockout.

Then, after the best and worst day of the year-after the semifinals on Saturday-they showed their mental resilience to dispel these doubts and defeated Bath with 17 goals, this time Everything is in the final.

Francis Beman said as he said, “The girls are very excited to be able to participate in the game today. They seem to be playing more freely,” wiping away tears after blowing the whistle full-time in the Copper Box Arena.

Loughborough Lightning adheres to their process and delivers on the big stage (Image source-Morgan Harlow)

Loughborough Lightning adheres to their process and delivers on the big stage (Image source-Morgan Harlow)

“In order to be able to play such a game, when you have doubts because you have lost the finals before, those guys attacked like this, I am proud of them.

“This team has a lot of stories; Sam May’s last game, Beth Cobden recovered from a terrible injury, and those who lost two or three games for the Chargers. So, today The way they do this is that why you see that kind of emotional outpouring.

“You put Olivia Murphy on the bench. She is also the number one player on the Loughborough Chargers. She has been waiting for this for 15 years.”

For the club, the future will be very positive, because you will no longer want to prove yourself.

Sara Francis-Bayman (Image source-Morgan Harlow)

“I’m very nervous, I might only know that we will finish it in about three minutes. Then, I was thinking about letting us go, but I think we just can’t… I just lost the plot! I’m hot It’s hot, but I can’t take off my jacket because of superstition…I collapsed on the bench, who knows what happened?!

Francis-Bayman’s description of the last few minutes perfectly reflects her passion as a netball director and head coach. The former and international player is always unapologetic, she leads her players in the way she wants to be led.

Thanks to her knowledge, tactical skills, outspokenness and interpersonal skills, the 36-year-old player has won the respect of her peers, all Super League players and those who watch football at home.

Sara Francis-Bayman is respected by her players and peers (Photo credit-Ben Lumely)

Sara Francis-Bayman is respected by her players and peers (Photo credit-Ben Lumely)

“She is passionate, and that’s what she brings as a coach,” Panagari said of Francis Beman. “She trusts you, she wants you to go out and do your best.

“Also, she is very honest. Our semi-final performance was a 20-goal victory, but she was not satisfied with the performance, and we were not satisfied. It is refreshing to have a coach who can tell you this.

“Sarah is someone who doesn’t whitewash, just tells you to want to hear. She trusts us, she wants us to be brave. All the right things, things you want to hear from the coach, she does them for us every week.”

Panagari’s narrative about Beman will get a response from every member of the Chargers, but Francis Beman has publicly expressed her own doubts.

“You don’t know if you can do anything. When I started this job, I didn’t know if I was capable of succeeding in this area,” she said.

“I always thank Liv Murphy and Vic Burgess, and Karen Atkinson for guiding me in my first year. I thank them for believing in me, helping me, and thanking them for being rational people on the bench. This means terrible. [to win the title], For me personally, but more for the team. “

I like that Loughborough insists on tasks, they trust these processes, and they did it again! They beat a complete international player; it was an incredible performance and an opportunity to show what Sara Francis Beman can do as a coach and what a player can do on the court.

Tamsin Greenway (Image source-Ben Lumley)

Now that Lightning’s long wait to win the championship is finally over, what will happen next? First of all, it should be to spend time immersed in their achievements and enjoy this moment.

Many champions and coaches look back on the past and hope they can enjoy it more. However, you suspect that with the culture created by Francis-Bayman, Lightning will have a great bus journey home, and will continue to complete it within 24 hours.

Beth Cobden and Nat Panagarry of the Loughborough Chargers celebrated on the court (Photo credit-Morgan Harlow)

Beth Cobden and Nat Panagarry of the Loughborough Chargers celebrated on the court (Photo credit-Morgan Harlow)

Soon, the focus will turn to the signing window of the Super League, and the netball director will need to form her team for the 2022 season.

Of course, Australia may call on Cobden again, and perhaps Panagari and Mary Johawk. However, the environment of Lightning is a powerful environment-an attractive environment-and, behind their staunch supporters, Loughborough has talented people.

What draws others to the lightning is the culture Panagari said, and the desire to be led by Francis Beman and England technical coach Olivia Murphy.

Victory after victory is a challenge, and Jess Thirlby hopes to use the vitality rose to solve this problem at the Commonwealth Games next year. However, you would argue that the Chargers overcame the biggest challenge of all of them on Sunday because they finally got rid of the demons of the Finals and ended their long wait for the first Super League title.

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