SOMERSET – Barbadian netball ace Nikita Piggott continued to show good form over the weekend in the professional British Netball Super League.
But her Loughborough Lightning also continued to lose, slumping to their fourth straight defeat when they were beaten 69-30 away to Bath University in Somerset.
Playing before a sold-out crowd of about 1,300, Lightning made a bright start with both sides trading goals. Piggott scored seven goals out of seven attempts to keep the first quarter evenly fought. But as has been the case in their other matches at the start of the season Piggott’s team-mates had difficulty getting the ball through Bath’s defence and into their shooters’ circle.
In the second quarter Piggott’s team-mate Jamaican Vanessa Walker came into the game at goal shooter, with Piggott moving to goal attacker. Although both were on target in the shooting circle, Bath started to pull away to lead at half time 27-15.
For the start of the third quarter Lauren Steadman came on at wing defence, with Jodie Gibson moving to goal defence.
But the changes could not stem the flow of goals from Bath, with England captain Pam Cookey showing her international credentials by scoring 17 out of 18 attempts, and being set up for scoring opportunities by Amanda Trounce and Serena Guthrie.
In the fourth quarter Lightning made five changes, with Fran Desmond (centre), Rachel Mulloy (goal defence) and Beth Payne (goal shooter) taking to the court for the first time in the match.
Despite another difficult quarter for Lightning, England Under-19 international Beth Payne once again impressed, claiming a 100 per cent shooting record by scoring nine goals out of nine.
Piggott had 10 goals from 12 attempts for a 88 per cent shooting average while Walker had 10 goals from 17 attempts for a 59 per cent shooting average. Cookey had 49 goals from 54 attempts (91 per cent shooting percentage) and Asha Francis, 20 goals from 29 attempts (69 per cent).
Piggott and the Lightning will be seeking their first season win when they take on Hertfordshire Mavericks on Saturday.††