Match Previews


Match preview: Thunder visit Surrey for last away game of regular season

Manchester Thunder head to Surrey Storm knowing a victory will secure their spot in the Superleague Top Four. The Black and Yellows are looking to end the regular season as high up the table as possible, with a top-two finish guaranteeing a home semi-final spot. They head to Storm on the back of a 48-68 win over a Celtic Dragons, a gutsy performance from a Welsh team Thunder boss Karen Greig described as 'wounded' following a difficult season. Storm may be out of the race for the play-offs, but they are expected to be a solid test for Thunder, with the pressure all on the visitors to get points on the board. Looking ahead to Saturday's game and reflecting on the unconvincing Dragons win, Greig said "We need to start again, to be honest. "We've had a couple of days to recover and reflect and look at video. "Storm will pose us a real threat on Saturday and we need to go back to the drawing board and rebuild, getting a real solid gameplan in place for the game on ... More

Preview: Manchester Thunder Bank Holiday weekend double-header

Manchester Thunder's Bank Holiday weekend starts at 7am on Saturday. The squad will head north across the border to Glasgow, where they will face Sirens for the first of their Superleague double-header of matches over the Bank Holiday weekend. Following a rest day on Sunday, the Black and Yellows return to their new home at Belle Vue to take on play-off rivals  Loughborough Lightning. It's the second time facing both sides as we head towards the business end of the season, with six teams in with a realistic chance of making the top four, Thunder suffered a narrow loss to Wasps last time out and will be gunning for maximum points by the time the sun sets on Bank Holiday Monday. Coach Karen Greig acknowledged the spirit and fight her players showed away at undefeated Wasps last week, and a strong showing in training has set them up well for the weekend. "They really raised the bar for themselves last week and this week in training," she said. "Their focus and ... More

Caroline O’Hanlon happy to be back after Commonwealth Games

Ahead of our trip to Wasps tomorrow, we spoke to Thunder and Northern Ireland's Caroline O'Hanlon who was straight off the plane from Australia and onto court in the Black and Yellow dress. By Cassie Nunn-Price. The Northern Ireland captain, who played in every game for her country at the Commonwealth Games, landed home less than 48 hours before she laced up her trainers and took to the court for Thunder's win over Surrey Storm. She is certainly no stranger to the kind of schedule that may seem impossible for some of us, though, successfully balancing her career as a GP with lining up for Gaelic football team Armagh week in, week out. "The game was a bit of a blur but it was good to get the win," said the 33-year-old. “I am honoured to have gone away and be selected for Northern Ireland and to play on this Thunder team, I’m delighted to have the opportunity." O'Hanlon, was flag-bearer for her country during the opening ceremony and racked up 334 minutes ... More

Match preview: Manchester Thunder v Surrey Storm

The wait is almost over, Superleague is back. After a five-week break for the Commonwealth Games, Thunder are back on court to face rivals Surrey Storm at Belle Vue. Fresh off the plane from the Gold Coast, Caroline O'Hanlon and Joyce Mvula will be in the squad as Thunder look to get their season back on track following a surprise home defeat to benecosMavericks last time out. Multiple finalists Storm have had a disappointing start to the season and find themselves well outside of the top four. They will be keen to push Thunder hard and build on their away win against Team Northumbria in the last round. Seen netball in the news? Inspired by the Roses? Well come and see what it's all about as two long-time rivals go toe-to-toe on court, in the top league in the country. If you haven't got your tickets yet, there will be a select few available on the door, so be sure to get to the venue early. WARM-UP GAMES: 12.30pm – Thunder Youth Academy v Yorkshire ... More

Sacrifices for Superleague – We speak to Joyce Mvula

Ahead of tomorrow's game with Mavericks, and as she's named in the Malawi Queens squad for the Commonwealth Games, Thunder's Denise Evans and Cassie Nunn-Price spoke to Joyce Mvula. It’s not often the UK is described as ‘heaven’. But for Malawian Manchester Thunder shooter Joyce Mvula, a move to a big city in Europe from her far less cosmopolitan beginnings in Africa, has brought her a life of privilege and experiences. It’s been a huge cultural – and personal - change for the 23-year-old, who left behind her young son and fiancé to play in the Superleague. Mvula said: “Some people in Malawi see that you’re in the UK and think that you’re in heaven. “I miss my family a lot but it’s a great achievement to be here.” The climate has also taken some getting used to, but Mvula is acutely aware that the positives far out-weigh the lack of sun. And Mvula clearly has the support of her loved ones back home, but even she may sometimes question ... More

Superleague Preview – Karen Greig’s 2018 Expectations

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 ... More

Preview: Manchester Thunder v Team Northumbria Pre-Season Friendly

Manchester Thunder are back in action this Saturday as they countdown to the start of the 2018 Superleague season. The black and yellows takes on Team Northumbria in a pre-season friendly featuring all the new season’s squad for the first time. Thunder will be at The Thunderdome at Wright Robinson Sports College for their first outing of the year, and the first chance for the home crowd to see new Superleague signings Caroline O’Hanlon, Amy Carter and Ally Thomas. Head coach Karen Greig is keen to see her new squad in action and even set up a training match this week against a men’s team, to test the squad’s physicality. Greig commented: “It’s the first time I’ve had the whole squad available for a competitive match and I’m looking forward to trying combinations to see what works well, particularly in units. “I’m excited to see our new signings out on court and it will give us a really good marker ahead of the season.” Doors open at 2.30pm. ... More

Preview: Fast 5 All-Stars

By Denise Evans A blend of youth and experience has always been the pathway to success for any Superleague Manchester Thunder squad. And the Fast5 All-Star Championship will be no different. With the return of former captain Sara Bayman from New Zealand and in stalwart defenders Kerry Almond and Emma Dovey, the Black and Yellows have maturity, thousands of hours of court time and loyalty. Then throw in energy, skill and tenacity from young England players Amy Clinton and Gabby Marshall, and you have yourself the ideal squad combination. The centre court will be an especially powerful force and is set to fit in perfectly with the Fast5 format as Sophie Morgan's pace, Dani Bloomfield's ability to drive the ball through from defence and Bea Skingsley's intelligence a real threat to the opposition. But it is in attack where Thunder will strike the blows, with Roses star Helen Housby rejoining the ranks alongside Thunder's Players' Player of the Season 2017, Kathryn ... More