Thunder were emphatic in Deeside on Saturday (8 December) with a scintillating performance beating Celtic Dragons by 32 goals, 48-80.
They started on fire taking an early 3-0 lead and you could quickly see Thunder meant business with fast fluid play between O’Hanlon, Leota and Turner. Their service to Eleanor Cardwell was second to none as they went into the first break leading 13-20.
In the second quarter Amy Carter replaced O’Hanlon at centre and Airey came on for Kerry Almond at goal keeper. The flow of the game slowed a little as the teams looked to suss each other out and it became a little scrappy, but Thunder found another gear and Dragons became frustrated. The black and yellows went into the half time break extending their lead to 13 goals 13-26.
If Dragons weren’t frustrated enough, coach Karen Greig brought on Joyce Mvula at goal shooter and O’Hanlon and Almond returned at centre and goal keeper respectively. The third quarter also saw youngster Elia McCormick enter at goal defence and she did not fail to impress with several turnovers. Malcolm moved to wing attack for Leota and also showed that Thunder have a lot of change ups in their locker giving Greig many selection headaches – but what a headache to have.
O’Hanlon’s speed through the centre upped Thunder’s intensity and Dragons simply couldn’t live with the speed. Thunder’s went into the final break 33-61 to the good.
For the final quarter, Greig gave Ally Thomas a run at goal attack and Dovey and Leota returned to the court. Thunder could have taken their foot off the pedal but they were the epitome of determination and took out the win 48-80.
Head Coach Karen Greig commented:
“I am really pleased, ultimately we got all 12 players out there on court as planned and were able to try many different combinations started well and started each quarter with purpose and intent.”
“We could work on our consistency throughout quarters but there was some magical stuff out there both in attack and defence. The girls are doing a really good job out there and giving a really good account of themselves. They will make it really tough choosing my starting seven for each game this season.”
“Looking ahead to the Sirens game next week we need to work on our consistency through the quarters and it will be great to be back home in front of the awesome Thunder crowd.”