Manchester Thunder vs Wasps Netball

Saturday 13th March 2021

Following yesterday’s defeat, the first since 2019, Thunder were ready to take on Wasps with a whole new mindset.

Head coach Karen Greig kept faith with the starting seven that featured in the last three games, with the injured Rebekah Airey passed fit after going off injured against Team Bath. It was clear from the first minute that this game was going to be neck and neck. The scoreboard ticked over for both sides, with both teams turning over ball early. The highlight for Thunder was a confident Eleanor Cardwell scored a brilliant 7th goal which spurred momentum and Thunder quickly intercepted to take advantage. At the end of the first quarter Wasps went into the break with a narrow two-goal lead 9-11.

Quarter 2 slipped away from Thunder with scrappy turnovers and space being encroached upon by Wasps. Emma Dovey was made to work hard by the Wasps attack but made some great interceptions, holding her nerve then pouncing at the last second. These class moves however, were then mirrored by Wasps causing frustration amongst the team and Almond received a caution for delaying play. Caroline O’Hanlon was brought on at wing attack but the change didn’t seem to affect Wasps momentum who continued to widen the gap between themselves and Thunder. Thunder’s hesitancy in attack and lack of decision making allows Wasps to take the lead 24-17 going into half time.

Captain Emma Dovey said “I just think there’s far too many errors across the court right from the first whistle, we’re not learning from our mistakes and we just need to take that into the second half.

Following a stern word from Head Coach Karen Greig, Thunder came out to Quarter 3 with a bit more fighting power that seemed to be lacking in Quarter 2. Playing such experienced players like Rachel Dunn and Katy aHHarris who know how to pile on the pressure, Thunder found themselves making panicked, rushed decisions which is the opposite of the cool, calm and collected style normally played. Halfway through quarter 3, Thunder seemed to suddenly step it up a gear and manage to score 3 in a row, largely unchallenged. This gained confidence saw great quick passes between O’Hanlon and Cardwell, and unexpected catches despite being sandwiched by Wasps defence. Thunder ended Quarter 3 assuredly with an equal 13 goals scored but still behind at 30-37.

Thunder entered the final quarter with fire in their stomachs, continuing Quarter 3’s game style that is more accustomed to Thunder. Berri Neil was brought on with just over 7 minutes to go but was unable make a dent into the lead Wasps had sustained from Quarter 2. Thunder just could not seem to do enough to close Wasps down and break those connections and despite another equal scoring round of 14 goals each, the final score was 53-44 to Wasps.

Head Coach Karen Greig said “Really disappointed, I think the girls are as well so it’s back to the drawing board and rockets up some backsides I think. We’re making tired errors, sloppy errors that you look at it and you can’t break line on a centre pass. In the last quarter we pulled it to 6 and we know that we can put scoreboard pressure on a team, we’ve got every chance of pulling back because we’re a team that are capable of doing that. But then we have a break of the line and then a missed shot, you put yourself down to 10/11 goals down again straight away and that’s tough to come back from when you’re only playing 12-minute matches. I think we’ve got to put ourselves under some real pressure at training this week.”

“I think that intensity needs to be there; the intensity is lacking from us. We played in the second half like how Manchester Thunder can play, with that intensity and purpose and got the ball moving and that’s something that’s been lacking over the last two days so I think we’ve got to revisit that.”

Match Stats

Match Photos

Photo credits @bensnapsstuff and @_morganharlow

Player Stats

Player
Goals
Missed Shots
Penalties
Rebounds (O)
Rebound (D)
Intercepts
Deflections
Turnovers
Unforced Errors
Rebekah Airey
1
2
1
2
2
Emma Dovey
10
1
5
1
6
Amy Carter
2
2
2
Caroline O’Hanlon
1
2
Laura Malcolm
5
2
1
4
Eleanor Cardwell
23
2
3
1
1
3
Joyce Mvula
19
6
3
2
Elia McCormick
Ella Standring
6
Berri Neil
2
Alicia Scholes
Kerry Almond
11
2
3
3
6
Total
44
8
42
2
3
13
7
18
11