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Northern Ireland's Noleen Lennon in action against Hertfordshire Mavericks in the British SuperLeague

Northern Ireland's Noleen Lennon in action against Hertfordshire Mavericks in the British SuperLeague

Double defeat for Team Northumbria has seen the Northern Ireland dominated Tyneside franchise slip down the British SuperLeague table in the past week.

Losing two home matches in the space of five days is a considerable blow for last season’s bottom team Northumbria who had briefly gone joint top of the table after three successive victories.

They would have fancied their chances of maintaining that winning streak at home to Hertfordshire Mavericks in front of the Sky Sports cameras last Monday night but were beaten 51-41.

Playing the game the day after returning from a demanding tour to the West Indies, which featured a famous victory over Barbados, predictably proved tough for the influential Northern Ireland contingent in the Northumbria ranks.

They had made the long trip home from the Caribbean on Sunday after three games in three days and went 7-0 down early on before scoring eight of the next 11 goals.

However Hertfordshire gradually got away from Northumbria and had 10 goals to spare in the end. Unbeaten league leaders Surrey Storm won by twice that margin.

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The London franchise have been by far the most impressive side in SuperLeague this season and ominously led 18-9 at the first break but Northumbria battled back to take the second quarter 14-12 having at one stage reduced the arrears to four goals.

However Surrey Storm blew the home team away during a dominant third quarter before the spoils were shared in the last period to leave the final score 42-62. Northumbria next face another tough test, away to Manchester Thunder, on Saturday evening.

Acting captain Noleen Lennon, Oonagh McCullough, Caroline O’Hanlon – recently deployed at wing attack – and defender Fionnuala Toner all started against Surrey Storm.

 

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