Barbadian professional netballer Nikita Piggott and her Loughborough Lightning started phase 2 of the British Netball Super League on Saturday in similar manner to how they ended the first phase – with another defeat.They were beaten 52-40 by Team Northumbria to make it eight losses on the trot in a season where they are still without a solitary win.
Once all eight teams in the league have played against each other in phase one the SuperLeague is split into the ‘Showdown’ and ‘Challenger’ leagues for phase two of the season.
Piggott and her Lightning team-mates are in the Challenger League alongside teams that finished between fifth and eighth place after phase one – Team Northumbria, Yorkshire Jets and last year’s champions Manchester Thunder.
The four teams in each league play each other home and away.
The team that comes out on top of the Challenger League remains in with a shot of winning the 2013 Super League Showdown being held in Worcester on May 25.It was Lightning’s first match after the international break and the team headed up the A1 to seek revenge on Team Northumbria, who they lost to in the opening match of the season by a single goal.
Lightning’s head coach Jo Webb chose to centre her offence around goal shooter Beth Payne who started her first match of the season after some impressive performances as a substitute. Unlike previous games Piggott played the support role at goal attack.
Beth eventually ended the game with 24 goals from 29 attempts while Piggott in a reduced role had 11 goals from 15 attempts.
Piggott and the Lightning return to the court away this Saturday against the Manchester Thunder to be followed by their first home match of phase two against Yorkshire Jets the following Monday.††
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