Fast5 All-Stars 2018: Thunder knocked out as Wasps take the crown
Manchester Thunder were knocked-out of Fast5 All-Stars 2018 after losing to Team Bath and BenecosMavericks at the Copperbox.
The Black and Yellows suffered a narrow 23-18 loss to Bath in the first game and needed to beat Mavericks in the second to stay in the competition.
However, despite leading for the majority of the game, a Mavericks 10-pointer shot from Karyn Bailey during her side’s powerplay, led them to a 32-22 win.
Reigning Superleague champions Wasps won the event, with former England shooter Rachel Dunn named MVP, after putting in a starring role with a plethora of five and 10-point shots.
Thunder head coach Karen Greig said: “We had the opportunity to win both games.
“But we didn’t take our chances and luck wasn’t on our side, which ultimately Fast5 has an element of.
“We were wasteful on our powerplays at times but overall I was happy with the team culture and high expectations of each other and look forward to using this as a springboard for the forthcoming season.
“It was great to have two former Silver Ferns in our squad as they brought both experience and knowledge to the team, and we would welcome them back to Manchester Thunder.”
Thunder started brightly and it was a game of great defensive displays from both teams as they restricted their opposition’s attacks during the two-minute powerplays, where points count double.
But it is ultimately in attack where the game in this format of the sport is won, and Thunder were edged out by Team Bath, with a five-pointer long-bomb shot proving the difference between the sides.
Kathryn Turner had the chance to draw Thunder level on the final buzzer but her shot fell agonisingly short.
Thunder’s attack had much more intent in the second game, with Thunder using their two-minute powerplay with much more success.
They controlled the game for large periods but Mavericks were smart in attack as the game came to a climax, leaving Thunder with too much to do to close the score as the clock ticked down.
Thunder’s two All-star players Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickett and Anna Thompson both showed vast Fast5 their experience with the former blocking out shooters from attempting the big pointers, and the latter nailing a number of stunning long-bombs.
However, they weren’t able to help Thunder to the semi-final stage, as they bowed out of the tournament at the Elimination Group Stage for the second year in a row.
Despite the result, there were plenty of positives for Greig to take from her new-look squad, and with a number of key players still to return to full training, Thunder are well set for a busy and productive pre-season.
Manchester Thunder Fast5 squad:
Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickett (All-Star)
Anna Thompson (All-Star)