Report – Double Thunder win starts the year in style

Thunder marched in to the New Year with two solid wins in a pre-season triple-header at Belle Vue on Saturday 11 January.

Coach Karen Greig spoke of wanting to try out a number of different combinations and did just that in wins over Severn Stars (67-48) and a 57-39 victory over Strathclyde Sirens.

With the games split into six 10-minute periods, Thunder pulled ahead early in against Severn Stars leading 15 – 7 after the first period.

Karen said, “ I am pleased with the overall result. We were really good at times but were inconsistent and rusty during other sets of play. It was good to be able to try out different combinations of players, which we are going to need this season but we need to build on what was out there. Stick to the game plan; keep it simple and open up the court”

Severn Stars and Sirens played each other in a tight contest that finished 45 – 41 to the Stars, having been neck and neck for most of the hour.

Thunder took to the court again to face Sirens who bounced back well. The first 10 minutes was a tight 7 – 7 before Thunder warmed up and roared through the second 10 minutes to drag a 12-point lead that they never looked like giving away. The rest of the game maintained a similar goal difference until the last 10 minutes when Thunder again showed their strength to pull away.

Captain Emma Dovey said, “We’ve had a two week Christmas break and this week the girls had England camp so it’s the first time we’ve been together as a squad so really good to get the two results. It was a tiring day but there was some good stuff out there and a lot of things to work on for the season.

We have a lot of people coming in and out of the squad with all the England girls so it’s really important on days like today when we are all together that we are trying to hook in and connect with all the combinations that might go out there on court this year.”

It was the first chance for the Thunder fans to see their team run out for the New Year. The first Super League home game of the season is on the 7th March against Loughborough Lightning.

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Report by Emma Priestley
Photographs by Mark Pritchard