Report – Convincing pre-season win in North Wales

Manchester Thunder’s first outing of pre-season brought a commanding 59 goal win against Celtic Dragons in Deeside.

Karen Greig’s team made the short trip down the M56 into north Wales for the annual fixture and showed their class from the start limiting Dragons to just three goals in the first period while they piled 18 onto the scoreboard.

Thunder have had a consistent team over the last couple of year with a couple of changes for the 2020 season while Dragons have a much changed line up which included three former Thunder players Abby Tyrrell, Amy Clinton and Sophie Morgan. It showed as Dragons took time to settle and the black and yellows were dominant.

The many combination throughout the court were impressive. Captain Emma Dovey led the way with some well-timed interceptions, and well back up by Rebekah Airey. The speed through the court was phenomenal and Dragons simply couldn’t live with it. The partnership between Caroline O’Hanlon and Ash Neal looks slick already with the latter showing a range of pin-point passes into the shooting circle.

Thunder had the liberty of being able to bring on England Roses Laura Malcolm and Eleanor Cardwell, following their return from a victorious tour in South Africa, much to the dismay of Dragons.

As the clocked ticked down Thunder were closing in on the magic 100 when they lost possession at centre pass and remained just short on 99 goals. Overall a great performance from Thunder as they look ahead to the Invitational Tournament next Saturday in Manchester. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE >>

Karen Greig said:

“We were pushing for the 99 goals at the end there, we had a wobble and sold ourselves short but a great result overall in the 60 minutes.

“I thought the defensive unit were really good today they came up with some fantastic connections in the partnerships that they are building within that unit. From centre all the way to goal keeper. We put Dragons under real pressure and it was good to see us taking risks, taking chances to come out and take those interceptions.

“It was a great opportunity today to try out some combinations especially in centre court where we can put out many variations which will be key for us moving forward.”

Starting 7s


  • GS Mvula
  • GA Turner
  • WA Neal
  • C O’Hanlon
  • WD Carter
  • GD Dovey
  • GK Airey

Bench: Cardwell, Malcolm & Towell


  • GS Clinton
  • GA Roberts
  • WA Burton
  • C Morgan
  • WD Thomas
  • GD Tyrrell
  • GK Bolakoro