The annual event featuring was held at Belle Vue for the first time, which will also play host to three of Manchester Thunder’s home games in the 2017 Superleague season. Five of the league’s teams featured in the event – Manchester Thunder, Wasps, Celtic Dragons, Hertfordshire Mavericks and Team Bath, which honours former Thunder coach Mike Greenwood, who died in 2011. A number of current senior players played under Mike, who also coached at Oldham NC, including Kathryn Turner, Dani Bloomfield and Kerry Almond, making it an epsecially poignant occasion for them.
Wasps – one of three new teams to join the sport’s top league – showed why they have already been touted as title favourites with a clinical and confident performance in all four games.  Bath also put out a solid and organised showing throughout the tournament but just could not find enough in the tank to see-off Wasps at the final hurdle. Superleague has experienced an off-season like no other with so much player movement and MGT is always a chance for squads to see what level their players are at, even at this early pre-season stage. And there were plenty of promising signs for the hosts’ head coach Karen Greig, who was forced to re-jig her defence just a few minutes into the tournament, following an injury to keeper Kerry Almond. Almond was later withdrawn from taking any further part in the tournament as a precaution.
There were further positives for Greig, as New Zealand international Liana Leota made a seamless return to the court following an extended break from netball and was rewarded with the Home Player of The Tournament Award. New Thunder players Dani Bloomfield and Sophie Morgan also played with composure and brought a fresh dynamic to the team and both looked at home in the Black and Yellows dress.
Thunder’s 2017 Superleague season kicks off with an away trip to Loughborough on February 18 before heading to the Super Ten event in Birmingham to face Surrey Storm. Click here to view the full list of fixtures