Netball: Mannas' unblemished record still stands

Tiger Sharks captain Vanessa Lee (left) and Mission Mannas captain Nurul Baizura (right) fighting for possession of the ball. The Mannas extended their unbeaten NSL streak with a 38-36 win over the Sharks.
Tiger Sharks captain Vanessa Lee (left) and Mission Mannas captain Nurul Baizura (right) fighting for possession of the ball. The Mannas extended their unbeaten NSL streak with a 38-36 win over the Sharks.PHOTO COURTESY OF NETBALL SINGAPORE

The Mission Mannas maintained their unbeaten Netball Super League (NSL) streak yesterday, holding off a resurgent Tiger Sharks 38-36 at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.

Both sides had been unbeaten entering the clash, each notching three victories in as many matches.

The Sharks led by one goal at the end of the first and second quarters, but the Mannas bounced back in the third to outscore their opponents 15-8 and go up 30-24 by the end of that quarter.

The final 15 minutes saw the Sharks fight to narrow the deficit, but the Mannas held on.

Mannas coach Yeo Mee Hong attributed her side's dominance in the third quarter to better timing and defensive play, but admitted her players were less focused in the last quarter.

"(The Sharks) came back hard at us, with Cassandra Soh coming in at goal attack and I thought she did really well," added Yeo. "They took their chances well and converted their goals, so credit to them in the last quarter."

Both teams are seen as title favourites. The Sharks have six national players in their roster, while 2014 winners Mannas boast seven current and ex-national players.

Sharks captain Vanessa Lee was upbeat despite the loss, as she revealed her team did not expect the score to be so close. "We just needed another minute," she said, noting that their comeback bid ran out of time.

Admitting that her team needed to cut down on basic errors like missed passes, she added: "The Mannas were one of the toughest opponents we've had so far ... but (closing a six-goal deficit) shows there's resilience in the team.

"The score shows there's depth in our team, so that's good."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 26, 2017, with the headline 'Mannas' unblemished record still stands'. Print Edition | Subscribe