Countdown to NSL Showdown
England Netball is pleased to announce the fixtures for the second phase of the 2013 Netball Superleague season. As the race to secure a spot in the Grand Final in May intensifies, the table is split into two leagues, the Showdown and the Challenger.
There is a real geographical divide at this stage of the season with all four franchises from the south clinching the top four positions with their northern counterparts having to settle for a place in the Challenger League. Of the sides struggling from the north are last year’s reigning champions Manchester Thunder.
Once again Sky Sports will be bringing you the best of the action with a mouth-watering clash between Team Bath and Surrey Storm being the first televised match in the Showdown League. The following week sees the Challenger League take the spotlight as Yorkshire Jets host Team Northumbria in a live encounter on April 18th.
The Sky Sports focus switches back onto the Showdown League in the succeeding weeks with all four teams appearing in the space of a week. The first match to appear on television is Hertfordshire Mavericks against Surrey Storm with the local derby between Team Bath and Celtic Dragons in the spotlight in round 11.
As the end of season approaches and the tussle for vital positions increases, netball fans will be treated to a feast of action with two double-header weeks pencilled in for rounds 12 and 13. Celtic Dragons versus Surrey Storm will be live on May 2nd with Loughborough Lightning hosting Manchester Thunder five days later.
Dragons supporters will be able to see their side in action again on May 8th when they travel to Hertfordshire Mavericks. The final broadcast game in the regular season is also devoted to the Showdown League as Sky Sports will show Surrey Storm and Team Bath on May 15th.
The action continues into the knock-out stages with the top placed team in the Challenger League facing the side ending fourth from the Showdown League. This play-off game will be shown live on May 16th with the two resulting semi-finals appearing on May 22nd and 23rd.
A thrilling season concludes with the Grand Final coming live from Worcester Arena as the two teams left standing at the end of a gruelling campaign face one last mountain to conquer in order to claim the title of 2013 Netball Superleague champions.