The Easter Weekend is upon us, and with it, a feast of Netball. Manchester Thunder travel to Glasgow at this pivotal point in the season to face London Pulse on Saturday and Loughborough Lightning on Sunday.
Seven teams can still mathematically finish within the top four and grab a spot in the coveted semi-finals. This weekend, all ten teams will be taking part in the weekend’s festivities, either in Glasgow or Coventry. Thunder still sit on top of the Vitality Superleague, despite a shock defeat to Severn Stars in their last outing. This weekend’s results will prove crucial in the race for the semi-finals, with Wasps hot on the Black and Yellows’ tails.
First up, it’s top vs bottom in the form of London Pulse on Saturday. Pulse have won just two of their games so far this season. The first, a nail-biting win against Severn Stars at the Super 10 back in January. The second, just a couple of weeks ago, a hard-fought victory over semi-final chasers Saracens Mavericks. Their bottom place is perhaps unfair, having narrowly missed out on several occasions, six points is not representative of their efforts.
That being said, Thunder enter the weekend on the back of a loss to Severn Stars and will be out for blood to cement their position at the top of the Superleague. Thunder had no issues in seeing off Pulse when they met earlier in the season and a win on Saturday would get the ball rolling on what should be a successful weekend for Head Coach Karen Greig’s side.
Easter Sunday poses a potentially more difficult challenge for Thunder in the form of Loughborough Lightning. Lightning took Thunder’s first defeat of the season in a toughly contested match which saw the Loughborough side come out on top. Lightning are on the hunt for a position in the semi-finals and they will be turning to this weekend as an opportunity to secure just that. But with both teams playing on both Saturday and Sunday, it will be a test of not only physical stamina and consistency but also mental determination.
With the strength in depth that Thunder have shown coming off the bench this season, they are arguably in a more advantageous position in terms of the ability to bring on fresh legs. That said, back to back netball games is no mean feat and one thing is for sure, with the unpredictability of this league, anything could happen.
Thunder will be on Sky Sports Mix on Saturday against London Pulse, one of four games being televised this weekend.