Manchester Thunder outplay Strathclyde Sirens 70-45 in their first home outing of the season
Manchester Thunder were dominant from the first whistle as they flew straight out of the blocks in the first quarter, taking the lead from an early stage. They displayed control and speed under persistent pressure from Sirens who looked confident in attack with Cat Tuivaiti at the helm.
Thunder demonstrated composure from the first quarter, Caroline O’Hanlon and Laura Malcolm showcasing some first-rate combinations. The two fed the shooters well throughout and O’Hanlon was, unsurprisingly, dubbed Player of the Match by Tracey Neville, who was in attendance at Belle Vue.
Sirens struggled to get into the game during the first half and, despite the efforts of Gia Abernethy and Claire Maxwell, they were unable to find an opening to release Cat Tuivaiti.
Sirens scrambled and there were moments of brilliance from Tuivaiti, much to the delight of the crowd. Including one spectacular ‘over the head’ pass, her trademark trick since the Super 10s.
Despite the fact that Thunder have had to wait three weeks since their last outing, there were no signs of rust and the Black and Yellows established a solid lead in the second half.
Ellie Cardwell enjoyed a spell at GA as well as GS, impressing during her time on court under the watchful eyes of England coach Tracey Neville.
Joyce Mvula relished in her freedom in the D, provided to her by O’Hanlon and Malcolm. Her prowess under the post shining through.
Karen Greig was able to experiment with some combinations as the match rolled on, trialling Rebekah Airey at both WD and GK.
Sirens tried to edge their way back into the game in the final quarter, searching for something out of the game. But hopes of a comeback had faded and with Tuivaiti taken off with a possible knock to the knee, Thunder were able to cement a solid lead.
Although it did not feel like a thrashing at the time, Thunder displayed confidence and composure on and off the ball, despite the Sirens defensive strength. They were able to capitalise on Sirens’ mistakes at one end of the court and reap the rewards at the other.
Sirens’ 45 goals, a winning score on another day, was overshadowed by Thunder’s impressive 70. The Black and Yellows were dominant in all areas of the court and their persistence paid off, placing a tick in the second box of the 2019 season campaign.
Thunder face Superleague newbies London Pulse next, hoping to make it three out of three wins so far this season. Grab your tickets here:
Thunder: Almond, Dovey, Carter, O’Hanlon, Malcolm, Turner, Mvula
Sirens: Gibbons, Mulheron, Nicholl, Maxwell, Abernethy, Gallagher, Tuivaiti
Player of the Match: Caroline O’Hanlon