Preview: Manchester Thunder vs Surrey Storm

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Manchester Thunder head into a key weekend as the regular Superleague season reaches its climax.

The Black and Yellows face a tough away trip to defending champions on Saturday evening. Storm beat them in the reverse fixture at the Thunderdome in February and Dan Ryan’s team will be keen to avenge that defeat. A win is vital to keep the pace with current table toppers Hertfordshire Mavericks, with the top side handed a more favourable home tie in the play-offs.

Australian Ryan said: “We’re gunning for that top spot and we want a bit of redemption against Surrey as we felt we didn’t play extremely well against them when we met them first time around and we are keen to get back out there and rewrite the wrongs of last time.”

Young defender Jodie Gibson, who was player of the match for Thunder’s last home victory over Loughborough Lightning, is expecting a tough challenge at Surrey Sports Park. “They’re the only team we’ve lost to this season and we have really focused in training this week –  we’ll be there to win. It’ll be an exciting game,” she said.

Thunder then face Roses Rivals Yorkshire Jets at the Manchester Arena on Monday, which was due to be their final game ahead of the play-offs on April 30. However, they will now meet Mavericks in Manchester with a rematch date agreed between the two clubs, after the original game on April 2 was abandoned after just one quarter, due to a roof leak with Thunder leading 15-9. That tie will be played at 6.15pm on April 25.

Match Preview by Denise Evans