Match Reports

Report: Four from four as Thunder stifle Storm

Manchester Thunder continued their unbeaten start to the Vitality Netball Superleague season with an 18-point victory over Surrey Storm. Round 4, at Surrey Sports Park, saw the 2019 Champions extend their run of victories to five. by 60 points to 42, on a day when little other sport was taking place across the country with the Coronavirus shutdown taking hold. The game started goal for goal as the teams worked each other out. Under immense physical pressure Joyce Mvula and Eleanor Cardwell stood strong as they helped build a six goal lead by the first break – 10-16. The Thunder defence of Emma Dovey and Lauren Ngwira were clearly assigned to put pressure on 6ft 4 shooter Karyn Bailey but Storm goal attack Sophie Hankin stepped up and was having success from distance. Recognised, this was snuffed out and Hankin was subsequently replaced by Ellie Kelk. At the other end it was like watching WWE wrestling at times with a physical battle and big hits between Mvula, ... More

Report – Stunning comeback sees Thunder maintain unbeaten run

Match Report by Lauren Coop Photography by Eliza Morgan Manchester Thunder delivered an incredible come back in front of a sell-out crowd at Belle Vue to continue their unbeaten start to the season by beating Loughborough Lightning 67-64. Despite Joyce Mvula scoring the first goal to set the scene, Thunder began to trail behind with a 6 point deficit. Loughborough’s defence was strong and their unstoppable shooter Colhok kept topping them. Thunder managed to maintain their lead by 1 goal to end the first quarter on 17-16. End-to-end scenes saw equal scoring, however Lightning managed to get just a few more goals in making the gap between them and the black and yellows increase to 8 goals, ending the 1st half 28-36. The 3rd quarter became ruled by Lightning with an average point gap of 12. However Thunder were not giving up! They were still going for it, trying different tactics to throw Lightning off their game. Loughborough remained defiant though which saw the 2 ... More

Report – Two from two for Thunder but they have to battle to overcome Stars

Manchester Thunder secured their second win from two games in the Vitality Netball Superleague - but they faced a tough battle to beat a determined Severn Stars side at the University of Worcester Arena. After an encouraging start with Eleanor Cardwell continuing her great form, Stars finally found their groove and started to push Thunder all the way. A couple of stray feeds and a missed shot let the home side right back in the game with only a late Cardwell goal separating the teams at the end of the first quarter 13-14. Coach Karen Greig brought on Caroline O’Hanlon at centre for the second quarter and after a goal for goal start to the quarter the black and yellows started to pull away increasing their lead to four at the half time break 26-30. Greig rang the changes for the third quarter bringing on Malawi Queen Joyce Mvula at goal shooter, Amy Carter on to wing defence and Rebekah Airey to goal keeper. Dovey did her best to drive her team forward but the ball was ... More

Report – Thunder beat Wasps in Season Opener

Manchester Thunder started the defence of their Vitality Netball Superleague title in the best possible way at the Season Opener by beating last year's defeated finalists, Wasps, by 62 points to 55. It was Wasps Netball’s veteran mid-courter Jade Clarke who got this tie underway but Thunder managed to get the first goal of this contest, 1-0. The champions found themselves narrowly ahead but managed to pull away after the first 15 minutes as Amy Carter maintained high energy levels to ensure strong reception and communication across the court. At the end of the first 15 minutes, Thunder had carved out a six-goal advantage but the likes of Amy Flanagan and Rachel Dunn were battling hard to keep within touching distance to their opposition. 17-11. In the second quarter, England international Laura Malcolm proved her worth with a strong defensive performance. Wasps, however, were not giving into Thunder’s pressure. Katie Harris narrowed the gap to four points ... More

Report – Thunder storm to victory over strong Surrey side

A blistering 2nd quarter saw Manchester Thunder secure a 72-50 victory over Surrey Storm in the final fixture before the start of the Super League season. Both sides made errors in a patchy first 15 minutes that saw Thunder steal a narrow 4-point lead with some sharp shooting from Eleanor Cardwell. But it was in the 2nd quarter that Thunder really pulled ahead. Storm were unfortunate to lose shooter Karyn Bailey early in the 2nd after a collision in the circle, and Thunder took advantage with some fast turnovers to lead 41 – 22 at half time. The 2nd half remained a close physical battle, with both sides rotating players but despite strong Surrey pressure that required solid circle defending from Lauren Nqwira and Emma Dovey, Thunder didn’t let their advantage slip. Karen Greig praised the versatility of her side. “It is a fantastic result, to come away with a 22 goal win against a tough Surrey Storm team,” she said. “They threw a lot at us today and gave us a lot ... More

Report – Double Thunder win starts the year in style

Thunder marched in to the New Year with two solid wins in a pre-season triple-header at Belle Vue on Saturday 11 January. Coach Karen Greig spoke of wanting to try out a number of different combinations and did just that in wins over Severn Stars (67-48) and a 57-39 victory over Strathclyde Sirens. With the games split into six 10-minute periods, Thunder pulled ahead early in against Severn Stars leading 15 – 7 after the first period. Karen said, “ I am pleased with the overall result. We were really good at times but were inconsistent and rusty during other sets of play. It was good to be able to try out different combinations of players, which we are going to need this season but we need to build on what was out there. Stick to the game plan; keep it simple and open up the court” Severn Stars and Sirens played each other in a tight contest that finished 45 – 41 to the Stars, having been neck and neck for most of the hour. Thunder took to the court again to ... More

Thunder win Mike Greenwood Trophy

Manchester Thunder won the Mike Greenwood Trophy on Saturday (14 December) after winning the Manchester Invitational Tournament at Platt Lane. In a busy afternoon of Netball, the Superleague Champions won all their group games before facing Saracens Mavericks in the final. The deciding game was a hard-fought contest between two impressive sides but Thunder ran out eventual winners by 49 points to 42. Full results: Manchester Thunder 45 - 40 Saracens Mavericks Team Bath 34 - 27 Loughborough Lightning Manchester Thunder 45 - 26 Loughborough Lightning Saracens Mavericks 42 - 26 Team Bath Manchester Thunder 48 - 29 Team Bath Saracens Mavericks 43 - 31 Loughborough Lightning FINAL: Manchester Thunder 49 - 42 Saracens Mavericks Photo Gallery: Photos by Mark Pritchard More

Report – Convincing pre-season win in North Wales

Manchester Thunder’s first outing of pre-season brought a commanding 59 goal win against Celtic Dragons in Deeside. Karen Greig’s team made the short trip down the M56 into north Wales for the annual fixture and showed their class from the start limiting Dragons to just three goals in the first period while they piled 18 onto the scoreboard. Thunder have had a consistent team over the last couple of year with a couple of changes for the 2020 season while Dragons have a much changed line up which included three former Thunder players Abby Tyrrell, Amy Clinton and Sophie Morgan. It showed as Dragons took time to settle and the black and yellows were dominant. The many combination throughout the court were impressive. Captain Emma Dovey led the way with some well-timed interceptions, and well back up by Rebekah Airey. The speed through the court was phenomenal and Dragons simply couldn’t live with it. The partnership between Caroline O’Hanlon and Ash Neal looks slick ... More

Fast5 – Thunder score first win but fail to make semis

By Rona Hunnisett at The Copper Box for Manchester Thunder Missed shots and powerplay opportunities hurt Manchester Thunder hard in this year’s British Fast5 All Stars competition, with the reigning Netball Superleague champions failing to reach the semi final stage of the competition. However, there was much to applaud during the afternoon at London’s Copper Box, with the club’s new defensive line up of Loreen Ngwira, Rebekah Airey and Emma Dovey switching combinations effortlessly, and Thunder actually scoring their first win in the competition’s three year history! After signing former Australian international shooter Erin Bell and Malawian midcourt dynamo Takonda Lwazi as All Stars for the tournament, hopes in the Thunder camp were high at the start of play, but failure to capitalise on powerplay opportunities hit the Manchester side hard in the first game of the day. During the two minute period, in which all points scored count double, Thunder’s azsKath... More

Match Report: Manchester Thunder lose 53-72 at the hands of a classy Jamaica

Netball is back in Manchester.  But this time it's with a difference, as Manchester Thunder took on Jamaica's Sunshine Girls at the Wright Robinson in the build up to the Netball World Cup.  On the day after the International Netball Federation announced that Jamaica have moved up the world rankings to 2nd, Thunder were put through their paces in their first outing since 'that' Superleague Final win. Thunder started brightly, with an early turnover on Jamaica's centre pass they managed to bag three goals back to back.  But the International giants were soon back in the running and it wasn't long before they overtook Thunder.  Displaying plenty of skill with first time World Cup selectee Shamera Sterling, as well as experience in the form of Jhaniele Fowler, who scored an incredible 783 goals for her Australian Suncorp Super League team, West Coast Fever, last season. Thunder held their own, Jamaica scored 20 goals in the first quarter, no mean feat.  Although ... More