Match Report: Thunder dominate Saracens Mavericks 58-51 in the season opener

Match report by Thunder’s Jess Anderson. Photographs by Thunder’s Eliza Morgan.

Thunder got off to a flying start at the Arena Birmingham in this highly anticipated fixture, the last of the day at the Super 10 opening day of the season.

There was plenty of shooting on show at both ends of the court with Thunder’s trusty attacking duo Kathryn Turner and Joyce Mvula under the post.

The combination of Kadeen and Sasha Corbin along with shooter George Fisher proved a success as Mavericks kept pace with Thunder through the first quarter.

But Thunder’s defensive quality in Kerry Almond and Emma Dovey emerged in the second quarter with the Corbin sisters unable to find the right combinations to get past Thunder’s defensive wall.

Almond’s numerous interceptions proved crucial throughout the second quarter, squashing any Mavericks attempt to get the ball in the D.

Mavs came into their own somewhat in the third quarter, chasing Thunder for every point and showcasing some defensive prowess of their own in the form of Razia Quashie and Jo Trip.

But by the final quarter Thunder had put to bed any chance of a Mavs comeback. Mvula and Turner remained calm when shooting under pressure and the Corbin sisters struggled to get into the game and make an impact.

Some excellent shooting from Mavs’ George Fisher aside, Thunder largely dominated the ball and were able to turn over the ball well.
Player of the match Kerry Almond gave an outstanding defensive performance right up until the final whistle. Her presence in the D and interceptions at vital moments proved key in keeping the newly reinvigorated Mavs attack.

Despite numerous attempts at a comeback, Mavs were unable to force themselves into the game for the most part and Thunder were able to dominate large bouts of play.

They turned over ball well and were able to exploit Mavs’ mistakes, rewarding themselves under the post with trusty shooters Turner and Mvula.

Thunder will be hoping to build on a perfect start to the season in their next match against Strathclyde Sirens on Saturday the 26th January. Buy your tickets now >>

Thunder starting seven: Almond GK Dovey GD Malcolm WD O’Hanlon C Leota WA Turner GA Mvula GS

Bench: Airey, Cardwell, Carter, Hall, Kindred

Mavericks starting seven: Trip GK Keable GD Drayne WD S Corbin WA B Corbin GA Fisher GS

Bench: Bailey, Collard, Lees, Mccalla, Quashie