Manchester Thunder secured a home semi-final with a tight 55-60 victory at Surrey Sports Park.
Surrey Storm threatened to upset the top four before the game and they almost did as Thunder looked nervous right from the start.
All Superleague matches started at the same time and there was all to play for with four teams vying for three play off places. Thunder's attack initially looked disjointed and, along with missed shots, only nine goals were scored with Storm taking the quarter 13-9.
Cardwell came on at goal attack the end of the first quarter and changed the game for Thunder, hungry for the ball and scoring goals she drove Thunder into the lead and Thunder went into the changing rooms four goals to the good 22-28.
For the third quarter, Amy Carter replaced Caroline O’Hanlon at centre. Thunder looked like they were threatening to run away with the game but lost their flow and Storm edged their way back in. At three quarter time Storm were back in the lead 43-42 ...
It was always going to be a tough game for Manchester Thunder. A convincing win in Saturday's match against London Pulse set the stage for a bumper weekend but, in the end, it wasn't meant to be for Thunder who fell just shy of victory against Loughborough Lightning.
After yesterday's win over Pulse and a definite spot in the top four up for grabs, it was all to play for in this highly contested tie. Lightning beat Thunder earlier on in the season and clearly came to Glasgow with a similar game plan, which saw off Thunder in the final quarter.
The opening 15 minutes were tough for Thunder but an early turnover allowed them to take a lead. Lightning took a few minutes to settle into the game but it soon became apparent that the game was going to be a feisty one. Each side held the lead for what seemed like only seconds, before the other swooped in and stole the glory once again. The turnovers were coming thick and fast, and so were the goals.
Liana Leota ...
Manchester Thunder wasted an opportunity to increase their lead at the top of the table after succumbing to a confident Severn Stars outfit 47-50.
The day didn’t start as planned with a 20-minute delay due to the centre circle being 7cm out of place. The delay clearly affect Thunder as they were slow out of the blocks in a scrappy start to the game. Captain Emma Dovey led the way with a couple of driving intercepts urging her team forward. Thunder went into the first break two goals to the good, 13-11, but you could see they were clearly not firing on all cylinders.
Into the second quarter and you could see glimpses of greatness from the black and yellows but a couple of offensive contact calls against Joyce Mvula seemed to rock their confidence and a gritty Stars team eagerly used the opportunity to nudge into the lead. Thunder were making a meal of it with several feeds way off target to Mvula, who was taken off and replaced by former Stars star Eleanor Cardwell. The ...
Manchester Thunder managed to get all 12 players out on court for the second time in a week as they came out on top in Manchester against Celtic Dragons to maintain their top of the table position in the Vitality Superleague. Today's match was in support of Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, which aims to make sport for everyone.
Thunder got off to a flying start as they managed to rack up an impressive 20 goals in the opening 15 minutes. They were dominant in possession and successfully imposed themselves on Dragons, who currently sit 6th in the Superleague. Thunder took a couple of early turnovers to get the ball rolling and managed to put ten goals on the scoreboard fairly quickly.
Thunder looked dangerous on the break and at times showed immense pace, the combination of Liana Leota and Kathryn Turner showed promise early doors, topped off with some superb shooting from Joyce Mvula, Thunder looked ruthless.
The second quarter ...
A solid performance from Manchester Thunder who now sit back on top of the Vitality Superleague after beating Strathclyde Sirens in Glasgow.
Thunder got off to a flying start and it was clear from the outset that it was going to be a tough ask for Glasgow-based Strathclyde Sirens to overcome the Black and Yellows.
Thunder established an early lead and managed to stretch it to ten goals at one point in the first quarter with star shooter Joyce Mvula shooting at 100%, bagging herself an impressive 14 of the 19 goals scored in the opening 15 minutes.
Sirens struggled to find their form and some poor shooting left ample opportunity for defenders Emma Dovey and Kerry Almond to punish their mistakes. Thunder lacked pace at times but they had no problems in sending the ball to the other end of court, Mvula and Kathryn Turner only too happy to reward the efforts.
Thunder finished the first quarter nine goals to the good, an early lead which ...
There are some matches that are difficult to put into words, even though there is so much to say. That was this game. Manchester Thunder took an unbelievable victory over Wasps in this top of the table clash.
Thunder looked strong to start with. The first quarter played out goal for goal until Thunder took the first crucial turnover, at which point the game began to open up and both sides were hitting each other on the break. The turnovers were falling to Thunder and the goals were too.
Kerry Almond enjoyed blocking out Rachel Dunn and the defensive combination of her and Emma Dovey played a decisive role. Joyce Mvula was only too happy to reward their efforts at the other end. Wasps struggled to find their stride as Thunder seemed to have the upper hand, and a flurry of goals in the last minute saw them leading by six goals at quarter time.
Wasps came into the second quarter with a point to prove. They had already been defeated by this ...
Manchester Thunder took the spoils in this hotly anticipated game against second-placed Saracens Mavericks 49-57.
Manchester Thunder were slow out of the blocks with the Hertfordshire-based side finding goal shooter George Fisher way to easily and they edge the first quarter 16-15.
The second quarter started in the same vein with Mavericks building an early five goal lead. But the black and yellows were in no mood to let Mavericks start the party. They started to find their form in the second quarter as the new combination, with Laura Malcolm at wing attack, started to gel. Thunder were hustling and hassling wherever they could and chipped away at Mavericks lead. Involving Mvula more in the game enabled Thunder to go into the half time break with a two-goal advantage 28-30.
At half time neither team were bold enough to make any changes, and who could blame them in such a tight game. Karen Greig’s side slowly turned the screw on Mavericks and started to build a lead with ...
Manchester Thunder flew out of the blocks at the Ricoh Arena to become the first team to defeat Wasps this season.
Following a lacklustre performance against Team Bath last Friday, Thunder had a point to prove and Wasps were literally left in their wake as the ruthless northerners ripped away the Coventry-based team’s unbeaten run.
There was no stopping the Thunder attack with Caroline O’Hanlon linking well with Liana Leota and they were finding shooters Kathryn Turner and particularly Joyce Mvula with ease. They found the ball was coming back with regularity as the defence pressured Wasps into mistakes and turned the ball over creating chance after chance for the firing attack. Emma Dovey and Laura Malcolm were keeping a high line and their vociferous defending was rewarded with Wasps only getting nine goals on the board with the first quarter ending 9-16.
In the second quarter Thunder continued to mesmerise the Wasps defence, Mvula’s movement ensured she was an ...
As expected, it was a tough night for Manchester Thunder, who were unable to maintain their 100% away record and prevent Team Bath from securing their first home victory of the season.
From the first whistle to the last, it was a predictably physical battle between the two sides but it was Team Bath who put on an impressive display in front of a sell out home crowd at the University of Bath.
Thunder took an early lead but were unconvincing at times and struggled to establish their presence on court. Bath managed to find a rhythm and a system that worked and went ahead inside ten minutes.
The Black and Yellows were lacking their usual pace through the middle of the court and Rachel Shaw was able to slip away from Amy Carter to feed shooters Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Kim Commane.
Carter was swapped for Laura Malcolm for the start of the second quarter in an attempt to quash Bath's waves of attack. The combinations between Mia Ritchie and Shaw were starting ...
It was a steady start to proceedings in Cardiff as Manchester Thunder and Celtic Dragons battled it out to break the other's centre pass, but in the end it was Thunder who came out firmly on top to bounce back from last week's defeat.
It took Thunder the first ten minutes of the opening quarter to find their rhythm and break the 'to me - to you' pattern the game had fallen into.
But as the clock ran down Thunder were able to pull away and ended the first quarter eight goals to the good thanks to the efforts of star shooters Joyce Mvula and Kathryn Turner.
An early lead for Thunder meant that Dragons would have to come up with a response if they were to have a chance of breaking Thunder's early confidence and edging their way back into the game.
Dragons swapped Clare Elsley for Lucy Howells at WD and the change proved effective as Howells managed to placate some of Amy Carter and Liana Leota's feeds to the shooters.
Thunder started ...