8 Results for month: 02/2018
Loughborough Lightning 55 Manchester Thunder 56
Manchester Thunder clung on to victory over Loughborough Lighting to retain their unbeaten start to the season.
And in return they ruined Lighnting’s perfect start, as the Black and Yellows sneaked a 55-56 win.
Thunder did not start well and fell six goals down in the opening quarter, but they gradually found their rhythm and chipped away at Lightning’s lead.
After trailing for most of the first half, Thunder forced the advantage in the third and didn’t look back, snuffing out any chance of a comeback for Lightning.
It was a tense finish but Thunder stood firm and closed out the game for a memorable win.
Head coach Karen Greig said: "Our start was slow and disappointing and we didn't adapt quick enough to their keeper.
"It was important to make a change early and Joyce came on and did something that worked for us.
"Once we got it back to within a couple, I knew it was in our grasp - we are a gritty team and ...
Manchester Thunder left it late but it was a scintillating performance in the end to steal the victory from Team Northumbria by 53 points to 46.
A dominant first quarter from Thunder gave them a convincing lead which they managed to hold throughout the match, despite dropping a gear in the second and third quarters.
The noise escalated throughout the match at the Thunderdome as the crowd delighted in dazzling shots from Amy Clinton, Joyce Mvula and Kathryn Turner.
In the end a standout performance from Caroline O’Hanlon and some jaw dropping interceptions from Captain Emma Dovey were the difference between the home side and the visitors.
Despite an energetic opening quarter from Thunder the score was almost neck and neck by half time. The third quarter proved to be a close tie as the visitors ramped up the pressure but Thunder managed to run away with the match in the last ten minutes, effectively extinguishing any hope of a Northumbria come back.
Clinton and ...
Manchester Thunder will look to keep their winning start to the season intact when they face Team Northumbria at the Thunderdome.
In contract, the visitors are on the hunt for their first victory of the campaign and face a tough task in breaking that duck against a confident Thunder.
The Black and Yellows bounced back from their under-par performance in the opening game of the season with a storming win over Sirens on Monday night.
Read: Match report - Thunder 60 Sirens 43
It is a tight turnaround for Thunder, who also travel to Loughborugh on Monday, to complete a hat-trick of games in just seven days.
Head coach Karen Greig was pleased with the turnaround in form for the Sirens game and is now focused on more of the same on Friday.
She said: "I was really pleased with the performance that we put out there, especially getting all 12 players on court, and they all made a good account for themselves.
"We rested legs as we went through the game.
"We pulled Liana off, ...
Thunder 60 UWS Sirens 43
Manchester Thunder started life at their new home in Belle Vue with a dominant victory over UWS Sirens.
Thunder steam-rolled through their opponents in the opening quarter with power and precision, and it gave them the platform they needed to push on for the remainder of the game.
A loud partisan crowd relished the match-up between starting centre Caroline O’Hanlon, a former Siren, and Thunder stalwart Sara Bayman, who is playing in her first season with the Scottish side.
And it was ultimately the Northern Ireland captain who came out on top on a disappointing return to Manchester for Wigan-born Bayman.
The Black and Yellows broke away to a 10-goal lead by half time. It proved to be unassailable, as the hosts successfully snuffed out any chance of a Sirens comeback in the second half.
Liana Leota, who was named Sky Sports Player of the Match, said Thunder had some 'hard conversations' following their off-colour performance ...
By Denise Evans
New signing Caroline O'Hanlon has settled in quickly, because she had to.
The Northern Ireland captain joined her team-mates for the first time on court just a couple of weeks after signing from Sirens, at the inaugural Thunder Day.
Then her first proper taste of life in a Black and Yellow dress was at the pre-season victory over Team Northumbria at a packed Thunderdome in the New Year.
"I found it a bit of pressure because I'm a new player in front of a new crowd," she said.
"However, it was great to play alongside great players. "
Thunder fans are notorious in the Superleague for being enthusiastic - and loud, making the Thunderdome an intimidating place to come for visiting teams.
And O'Hanlon is relishing being on the right side of their cheers this season.
She added: "I've played there before and it was absolutely amazing, but to play in Black and Yellow was great, especially with the amount of fans just for a preseason friendly...
Laura Hayward has been named Matchday Co-Ordinator at Manchester Thunder.
Hayward, who has been a volunteer at the Black and Yellows for nine years, makes the step up to oversee the running of Thunder home games.
The role also includes liaising with the other Superleague franchises and venues and working together with the volunteers and staff to make sure the match day is successful and runs smoothly.
Maths teacher Hayward said: "It’s an honour to be given this role after being a part of the Thunder Crew for so long.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity for me personally and I’m really looking forward to it
Debbie Hallas, Manchester Thunder managing director, added: "Laura has been a key member of our volunteer structure for nine years and is well respected. "She knows the ropes and I am confident she will do a great job."
Laura will take charge of her first match day when Thunder take on UWS Sirens at their new home venue, Belle Vue Stadium on Monday, February ...
Severn Stars 47 Manchester Thunder 48
Manchester Thunder won another remarkable game at Worcester Arena.
At the same venue the Black and Yellows won the Superleague in 2014 with a last-gasp goal, they produced a near-carbon copy finale in this opening game of the 2018 season.
This time with less than 10 seconds on the clock, the ball fell to Amy Clinton, who calmly slotted in the winner to secure a stunning comeback, after her side had been 10 goals down at half time (20-30).
It was a disappointing first half performance across the court from Thunder and Karen Greig was forced into making a number of changes in an attempt to spark her team into life.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for two players on their debut, with new signing Caroline O’Hanlon, while strong and fast, was unable to fully insert her authority at centre.
However, young Amy Carter performed superbly, especially in the second half when she switched to centre.
In such an intense, pressure-cooker ...
Manchester Thunder head coach Karen Greig has revealed her expectations for her squad in 2018.
Greig is heading into her second season at the helm of the Black and Yellows and a 'top four finish' is the minimum requirement for the season, which begins on Saturday evening, away to Severn Stars in Worcester.
"We always say we’re going for top four, we’ve got to come top four," said the former England shooter.
"And as we said last year, we come top four and anything can happen once you get into those playoffs so that’ll be our aim again this year.
Thunder finished third in 2017 - a feat that defied many pre-season predictions, due to an exodus of many senior players and head coach Dan Ryan.
But Greig quietly got on with business, rebuilding her squad's personnel - and morale. Thunder made the finals weekend, losing out to eventual champions Wasps in the semi finals.
They then beat Team Bath to third place.
Thunder have two solid pre-season performances ...