Saracens Mavericks’ Netball Superleague play-off chances are under threat after defeat by London Pulse left them out of the top four with one match left.
Pulse won 46-33 on Monday to stun Kat Ratnapala’s side, who had beaten Team Bath 46-35 on Sunday.
Strathclyde Sirens’ moved up to fourth after a 53-34 win over Celtic Dragons.
Wasps, scheduled to play Surrey Storm, saw the match postponed after one of their players tested positive for coronavirus.
The Leeds Rhinos squad are also self-isolating after a positive coronavirus test in their camp, but had a rest weekend – they will return to action in round 20.
Had Mavericks won both of their round 19 games, they would have been in pole position for a semi-final spot.
But their loss to Pulse leaves them relying on Rhinos to slip up in one of their two matches in round 20 and Sirens to lose out to Thunder.
Even if those two things happen, Wasps hold a better goal difference and would progress to the semi-final if both they and Mavericks win their final games.
Pulse’s victory was their third in a row and second of the round after a tightly contested match against Severn Stars ended 42-40.
Defending champions Manchester Thunder, in third, outclassed second-placed Loughborough Lightning, in what could be a preview of one of the semi-finals, to win 60-46 and draw level on points with them.
Game of the week – Team Bath 35-46 Saracens Mavericks
Anna Stembridge’s Bath wrapped up their semi-final spot in May, and the only side to have beaten them on their way were Mavericks, who needed to win this game to keep alive their chances of a semi-final spot.
A dominant first quarter set the tone as Mavericks drew out a seven-goal lead and forced Bath, who have won the Superleague five times but not since 2013, to make early changes.
Shooters Ine-Mari Venter and Kadeen Corbin looked settled under the post and Jodie Gibson and Razia Quashie were solid in defence.
Quashie sustained an injury in the final quarter and centre Beth Ecuyer-Dale sprained her ankle, but the match had long since been won – both players sat out the game against Pulse and were noticeably missed as Mavericks’ search for consistency goes on.
Results & fixtures
Sunday, 13 June
Strathclyde Sirens 53-34 Celtic Dragons
Team Bath 35-46 Saracens Mavericks
London Pulse 42-40 Severn Stars
Monday, 14 June
London Pulse 46-33 Saracens Mavericks
Loughborough Lightning 46-60 Manchester Thunder