Lightning fail to strike twice netball goal-attack Nikita Piggott netted 13 goals from 16 attempts and Jamaican team-mate Vanessa Walker had 27 goals from 32 attempts but their Loughborough Lightning were soundly beaten 72-40 by reigning British netball queens Manchester Thunder as action continued in the Netball Super League over the weekend.

It was Lightning’s third successive defeat.

Playing at home at Wright Robinson Sports College in Manchester, Thunder were fast out of the blocks, and with goal shooter Krista Enziano scoring 19 out of 23 attempts, Thunder finished the first quarter in the lead by 21-9. Lightning made a number of changes in the second quarter and although the changes helped to reduce Thunder’s scoring, the defending champions still reached the half-time mark well in the lead at 38-16.

The third quarter saw Lightning improve with Walker and Piggott matching Thunder’s goal scoring efforts. However, the two Caribbean players suffered from a lack of service from their team-mates who had great difficulty getting the ball into the circle to provide them with greater offensive opportunities.

Conversely, the Thunder offence had no such problems with Lightning’s defence and once again rallied in the final quarter to pull further ahead and claim a convincing victory.

After the game, the Lightning’s head coach Jo Webb said her girls were not at their best.

“We didn’t play our best today compared to our last two matches. We definitely have got the people and tactics to combat other teams, we just need to do it the court,” she said.

Piggott and the rest of the Lightning ladies will next be in action away against Team Bath this Friday.

Piggott, in her first professional stint in England, is currently fifth on the shooting leader-board with 57 goals from 71 attempts in three matches at a shooting percentage of 80. (WG)

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