Loughborough Lightning defied odds to claim their first-ever Vitality Netball Superleague title after overcoming Team Bath Netball in the final.

In the final played on Sunday at the Copper Box Arena, Loughborough Lighting which is home to She Cranes Goal Shooter Mary Nuba Cholhok, secured a 49-32 victory to emerge Champions.

Despite failing to claim the Championship on three occasions after reaching the finals (2008, 2017 and 2018), the Sara Francis-Bayman’s team eventually got it right on the fourth attempt.

The throw-off was treated with shaky nerves from either side but it was Loughborough Lighting who grew in confidence and pulled away, claiming the first quarter 11-7.

The same score was registered in the next quarter and the eventual Champions headed into the long break leading 22-14.

Lightning led 31-23 going into the last quarter, thus stretching away and giving a mountain challenge for five-time champions Bath.

They were even clinical in the final quarter with Nuba scoring the final goal to claim a 49-32 win.

Skipper Beth Cobden indicated they wanted to make history and had to give their best effort in the final.

“We wanted to do it for the club, we’ve never done it before. The girls who have been here for years and the coaches, we’ve made history for Loughborough,” said Cobden who was also named player of the season.

The defender finished the regular season fifth in the league for deflections (56). She also gained 44 turnovers and 24 intercepts for her side

Cholhok on the other hand was the top goal shooter after finishing the regular season with 772 goals and a shot success rate of 88%. She finished 122 goals clear of second-placed Joyce Mvula of Manchester Thunder.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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