Manchester Thunder recorded another impressive pre-season victory defeating Strathclyde Sirens 63-49.
Despite a slow start Karen Greig’s side, edged ahead assisted by some flashes of brilliance from Kiwi wing attack Liana Leota. At the first break there were just two goals between the teams 16-14.
In the second quarter, Greig rang the changes wanting to look at different combinations. Cardwell came on for Turner at goal attack, Laura Malcolm for Caroline O’Hanlon at centre and Paige Kindred replaced Rebekah Airey at goal defence. Clearly keen to impress Thunder’s new line up quickly motored through the gears and Sirens had no answer as they were beaten 20-9 in the quarter with the accumulative score 36-23.
Another raft of changes in the second half saw Turner, O’Hanlon & Airey return with Malcolm moving to wing defence, and Cardwell to goal shooter. We also got to see the return of Maria McAndrew to the court for the first time since being part of the 2012 grand final winning squad. The changing line up started to affect Thunder’s flow and their play became inconsistent and Sirens made the most of it in an even quarter ending 49-38.
The final quarter saw Leota return to wing attack and Thunder started to take the game away from Sirens who started to struggle to find target shooter Cat Tuivaiti. Their frustration started to show as Thunder closed the game out 63-49.
Coach Karen Greig commented:
“I’m really pleased with the way the squad came through the game, we knew sirens would pose us a lot of questions and the way all the squad remained focused on the task at hand was fantastic. Again it was great to get 11 of our squad on court stating a case for selection come start of the season.
“We still lacked a little consistency going from dead ball situations into free flowing play, but again we put out some really exciting netball. I am happy with where we are at now and we will continue to work hard over the coming weeks heading into the Super 10 weekend.”
Starting 7: GK Almond GD Airey WD Carter C O’Hanlon WA Leota GA Turner GS Mvula
Bench: Cardwell, Kindred, Malcolm , McAndrew, McCormick
Sirens: GK Gibbons, GD Mulheron, WD Abernethy C Maxwell WA McCleary GA Gallagher GS Tuivaiti
Next home match: Saturday 26 January 2019 – the first home game of the new season. Get your tickets here >>