London Pulse

Netball

London Pulse v Leeds Rhinos in the VNSL

🏐 London Pulse welcome Leeds Rhinos to the Copper Box Arena for their final home match of the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague. 

NEWSFLASH: CONGRATULATIONS to London Pulse who ended the 2022 regular Vitality Netball Superleague season in fine style with a 52-45 home win over Leeds Rhinos, and a top-four finish for the first time.Β  London Pulse narrowly lost their third place play-off match against Team Bath Netball (final score 36-32) on Grand Finals day, but with a young side the capital’s representatives in the VNSL look set to go from strength to strength next season.Β  Stay tuned here for news of London Pulse 2023 VNSL season home matches as soon as published.

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It’s been a season to remember so far for London Pulse who are riding high in the VNSL table aided by some superb home form that has seen them record five wins from seven matches at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.Β  Currently third in the table, London Pulse have already secured a top-four finish and qualification for the end of season play-offs for the first time.Β  There they will face defending champions Loughborough Lightning at the SDW Arena on Friday 3 June in the semi-finals.

Ahead of the play-offs London Pulse look to sign off their home campaign with a win against Leeds Rhinos this afternoon.Β  A brilliant second-half performance saw London Pulse close out a 52-35 win over Wasps in their season-opener at the Copper Box at the end of January.Β  Since then Celtic Dragons, Severn Stars, Surrey Storm and Strathclyde Sirens (see below for highlights of the 48-38 win) have all been seen off on home soil.Β  The only blemishes coming at the hands of Loughborough Lightning earlier in the season, and last Monday against unbeaten league leaders Manchester Thunder who extended their perfect win record to 19 matches, but not before Pulse pushed them close in a 50-56 thriller.

2021 was a frustrating time for the VNSL (see below for an introduction to the league) with the season heavily disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and ultimately played out behind closed doors at a central venue where Loughborough Lightning were crowned the 2021 champions.  

But with crowds back for 2022 London Pulse have enjoyed a great campaign after CEO and head coach Sam Bird appointed Australian coaching legend Lisa Alexander as London Pulse’s new Performance Director at the beginning of the season. 

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Alexander brought with her a stellar record at the highest level of international netball and is presiding over an exciting squad (meet them below) full of players selected for England duty across their senior and development teams.  Among them London Pulse captain Halmat Adio and rising star Funmi Fadoju.  

The new VNSL season had lift-off on the weekend of 5th/6th February with the traditional ‘Season Opener’ incorporating Rounds 1 & 2 matches and featuring all 11 clubs across ten games of netball.  Pulse opened the new campaign against champions Loughborough Lightning, bouncing back impressively from a 61-50 reverse to defeat five-time champions Team Bath 52-48 the following day. 

Such is the strength in depth of the side that Olivia Tchine, Zara Everitt, Funmi Fadoju, Lindsey Keable, Alicia Scholes and Jas Odeogberin have all taken the Player of the Match award plaudits while Pulse have enjoyed their best season yet since they entered the league for the first time in 2019.

Stand by for London Pulse to showcase their 2022 squad as they go in search of another win in front of their home fans to put them in the best possible mood ahead of their VNSL play-off semi-final against Loughborough Lightning on Friday.

Can London Pulse sign off at home in style against Leeds Rhinos to make it six wins from eight matches on home soil in 2022?  All will be revealed at one of the finest venues for netball in the UK.

Also this afternoon in a curtain-raiser to the London Pulse v Leeds Rhinos match there’s an opportunity to watch men’s netball as Knights Netball take on Northern Titans at 12 noon.

🏐 London Pulse 2022 Superleague squad in full:

Halimat Adio ~ Lindsay Keable ~Zara Everitt ~ Funmi Fadoju ~ Jasmin Odeogberin ~ Alicia Scholes ~ Ashleigh Dekker ~ Ellie Rattu ~ Isabel Stibbs ~ Tayla Honey ~ Peace Akinyemi ~ Olivia Tchine ~  Kira Rothwell ~ Berri Neil ~ Sacha McDonald 

πŸ”‘ Doors open at 11am.

⏱️ Centre pass for Knights netball v Titans Netball is at 12 noon.

⏱️ Centre pass for London Pulse v Leeds Rhinos is at 2pm.

🎟️ Tickets are currently off-sale. 

πŸšŠπŸš— Travel tips: Public transport is recommended.  The nearest railway stations are Hackney Wick overground and Stratford International station (latter accessible from London St Pancras) both approximately a 10-minute walk.  Stratford (with links to the underground and DLR) station is about a 15-minute walk.  Plan your journey at the Transport for London website.  Limited parking is available at the Copper Box Arena, however parking is available at the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.

london pulse

🏐 About the Netball Superleague: The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) is a club competition featuring 11 elite teams from across England, Scotland and Wales.  Taking place weekly from February the teams play each other twice in a home and away robin-format comprising Rounds 1-20.  The top four teams then progress to the semi-final play-offs on Friday 3 June, with the Grand Final taking place at the Copper Box Arena on Sunday 5 June.  The current league champions are Loughborough Lightning who wrested the title from Manchester Thunder who in 2019 ended a five-year wait to win the VNS.

The VNSL teams for season 2022 are Celtic Dragons, Leeds Rhinos, London Pulse, Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder, Saracens Mavericks, Severn Stars, Strathclyde Sirens, Surrey Storm, Team Bath and Wasps.

The top eight teams at the end of the VNSL season also qualify to play in the British Fast5 All-Stars which usually takes place in October.  This is in an alternative format of 12 minute fast-paced games with a golden buzzer power play and the opportunity for the teams to add 2 international players.  Wasps are the current champions.

In and around the London area there are 3 teams to watch in the VNSL; London Pulse (2022 is their fourth season in the VNSL) playing out of the Copper Box Arena, Surrey Storm (2-time winners) based in Guildford and Saracens Mavericks (2 times winners, runners up 5 times) from Hertfordshire.

πŸ‘€ For lots more great spectator action coming right up in London visit our β€˜What’s On’ page here. πŸ‘€

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