Manchester Thunder vs Severn Stars

Sunday 28th February 2021

Manchester Thunder lineup vs Severn Stars

Thunder made it quite clear they were going for 3 out of 3 in the lead up to Severn Stars. Karen Greig said in her pre-match interview how they ‘looked at the start last week and it was formidable so it was only right that we go with the same seven and see if they can reproduce that.” So, the starting seven was not altered from the previous winning game against London Pulse.

And, with no surprise, Greig got the line-up spot on, seeing Thunder getting six goals in before Stars even saw the net. Kerry Almond made some great interceptions so combined with Eleanor Cardwell and Joyce Mvula’s class shooting gave Thunder a score of 14 – 6 at the end of their opening quarter. A fast and hard first quarter as expected to hopefully give Thunder a remaining comfortable game.

The partnership between Cardwell and Mvula continued to control the game with Laura Malcolm assisting. The chemistry between Cardwell and Malcolm was shining brightly in the Thunder connections in a real team performance as Stars tried in vain to impact the game. Ex-Thunder legend Liana Leota’s creativity certainly tested the team however, Thunder’s goals kept flowing as the shooting combination of Cardwell and player of the match Mvula went from strength to strength. Thunder entered half time with a significant 18 goal lead, at 32 – 14 to Thunder.

Half time talk with Captain Emma Dovey emphasised how training is the whole reason they can do what they do: “Obviously it’s physical, it’s tough out there but that’s what we train for, that’s what we’re here for. We’re just thinking about ourselves and just trying to push on each quarter and get the performance we want as a team.”

Seeing some team changes when starting Q3 with the ‘force of nature’ Caroline O’Hanlon introduced at Centre, Amy Carter moved from C to WD and Rebekah Airey was taken off. Thunder really started to flow through court as Carter, O’Hanlon and Malcolm commanded the centre court. The interceptions from Almond and Dovey continued, with some of eager Almond’s challenges being called by the umpire and as a whole the Thunder defence limited Severn Stars to six goals throughout the third quarter.

Q4 began with a strong score of 47 – 20 so some changes were made to the team to bring on the youngsters, including a debut from Alicia Scholes as WA. Not that you could tell, the youngsters seamlessly slip into the team with Lois Pearson and Berri Neil constantly slotting in the goals thanks to some great passes between Alicia Scholes to Ella Standring in WD. 13 goals scored in Q4 meant a final score of 60 – 27, Thunder’s highest score in the season to date.

Player of the match Mvula said “It was hard work for the team. I’m just happy that we played like that at training. We just have to keep on going and keep working hard together as a team. It’s good [the youngsters] have to go and get in to flow as a team.”

Perfectionist Head Coach Karen Greig said “Overall, really good. We managed to get all 12 [players] on there with a debut from Liss Scholes at the end. Really pleased with it. A few tweaks with combinations in the third and we managed to keep pushing that score line out so really pleased.”

“I think it’s all about understanding your squad at this point, and what combinations work for you and match ups against certain players. It was important today to see how Bekah ran against someone like Liana and know that we’ve got someone like Caroline on the bench and we can play around with Amy in WD and it have the same impact as well.”

“It’s all about learning what our combinations can do. We’re learning every day in training and our youngsters are really stepping up for us as well, so I think it’s all about consolidating what we know what works for us and developing each game.”

Match Stats

Match Photos

Player Stats

Player
Goals
Missed Shots
Penalties
Rebounds (O)
Rebound (D)
Intercepts
Deflections
Turnovers
Unforced Errors
Rebekah Airey
4
3
1
3
Emma Dovey
5
1
1
2
1
Amy Carter
5
2
2
2
Caroline O’Hanlon
1
Laura Malcolm
2
2
2
1
Eleanor Cardwell
21
3
3
1
Joyce Mvula
31
1
1
Lois Pearson
1
Ella Standring
Berri Neil
4
2
2
1
Elia McCormick
Kerry Almond
6
1
2
1
Total
57
5
28
1
1
7
6
10
7