Report – Thunder storm to victory over strong Surrey side

A blistering 2nd quarter saw Manchester Thunder secure a 72-50 victory over Surrey Storm in the final fixture before the start of the Super League season.

Both sides made errors in a patchy first 15 minutes that saw Thunder steal a narrow 4-point lead with some sharp shooting from Eleanor Cardwell. But it was in the 2nd quarter that Thunder really pulled ahead. Storm were unfortunate to lose shooter Karyn Bailey early in the 2nd after a collision in the circle, and Thunder took advantage with some fast turnovers to lead 41 – 22 at half time.

The 2nd half remained a close physical battle, with both sides rotating players but despite strong Surrey pressure that required solid circle defending from Lauren Nqwira and Emma Dovey, Thunder didn’t let their advantage slip.

Karen Greig praised the versatility of her side. “It is a fantastic result, to come away with a 22 goal win against a tough Surrey Storm team,” she said.

“They threw a lot at us today and gave us a lot to think about. It was great that every quarter we could make changes and try combinations because we know as we go through the season we are going to come up against different styles of attack and defence.”

“We were a little slow to start the quarters. You expect new combinations to take a little bit to bed in but 5/6 minutes really isn’t good enough so that is something we are going to have to address in training over the coming weeks. When we were good, we were good. Consistency will be the key going into the season.”

Quarter scores

  • Q1. 17 – 13
  • Q2. 41 – 22
  • Q3. 58 – 37
  • Q4. 72 – 50

Thunder Starting 7

  • GS – Eleanor Cardwell
  • GA – Kathryn Turner
  • WA – Ashleigh Neal
  • C – Caroline O’Hanlon
  • WD – Laura Malcolm
  • GD – Emma Dovey (c)
  • GK – Lauren Ngwira

Storm Starting 7

  • GS – Karyn Bailey
  • GA – Yasmin Hodge-England
  • WA – Yasmin Parsons
  • C – Mikki Austin
  • WD – Niamh Cooper
  • GD – Katy Hughes
  • GK – Lorriane Kowalewska

Thunder’s first Superleague home game of the season is on the 7th March against Loughborough Lightning. Tickets on sale now >>

Match report by Emma Priestley.
Photographs from Mark Pritchard.