Yorkshire Jets were beaten in their opening game of the Vitality Netball Superleague season by an impressive Loughborough Lightning 34 points to 65.
Head Coach Anna Carter’s Jets starting seven had a completely new look with just one player, Jess Shaw, part of last year’s campaign. Alongside new Captain Stacey Francis were Superleague debuts for Leeds shooter Lucy Harris and Elland mid-court player Imogen Allison.
Given the changes it was a nervous start for Jets and, while first quarter saw positive play from both sides, it was Loughborough who took a six goal lead after the first 15 minutes.
It was in the second quarter that Loughborough pulled out their unassailable advantage as they proved too strong for Jets. Kate Lightfoot and Ellie Smith came on for the Yorkshire side as they tried to stem the tide of Loughborough points but, at half-time, Jets trailed 13-28.
Big changes were made at half-time with Lydia Walker on court and players changing position, including Du Toit to Goal Shooter. It led to a much improved performance from Jets in the third quarter but Lightning continued to extend their lead and were 22 points ahead going into the final 15 minutes.
There were positives in the final quarter for Jets, including some brilliant defending from Stacey Francis, but the pressure from Loughborough continued to produce too many errors for the Yorkshire side and by the final whistle they were 31 points behind.
After the game, Anna Carter said there were both positives and lots to learn for Jets from the game. They’ll be looking to make improvements in their next match, the first in Yorkshire of the season, on Monday evening at the EIS in Sheffield when Team Bath are the visitors. Centre pass is at 7.45pm.
Final Score: Yorkshire Jets 34 – Loughborough Lightning 65
Starting 7: GS – Lutua, GA – Harris, WA – Allison, C – Shaw, WD – Halpin, GD – Francis (captain), GK – Du Toit.
Starting 7: GS – Prosvocia, GA – Walker, WA – Joseph, C – S Corbin, WD – Clarke (captain), GD – Agbeze, GK – Trip
Report courtesy of Yorkshire Jets