Match Report by Lauren Coop
Photography by Eliza Morgan
Manchester Thunder delivered an incredible come back in front of a sell-out crowd at Belle Vue to continue their unbeaten start to the season by beating Loughborough Lightning 67-64.
Despite Joyce Mvula scoring the first goal to set the scene, Thunder began to trail behind with a 6 point deficit. Loughborough’s defence was strong and their unstoppable shooter Colhok kept topping them. Thunder managed to maintain their lead by 1 goal to end the first quarter on 17-16.
End-to-end scenes saw equal scoring, however Lightning managed to get just a few more goals in making the gap between them and the black and yellows increase to 8 goals, ending the 1st half 28-36.
The 3rd quarter became ruled by Lightning with an average point gap of 12. However Thunder were not giving up! They were still going for it, trying different tactics to throw Lightning off their game. Loughborough remained defiant though which saw the 2 sides enter the final quarter on 46-55.
Player of the match Laura Malcolm pushed the team to keep on the attack and gradually, the deficit was lessening and Thunder were the ones in power. The immediate impact was noticed and certainly rattled Lightning. With 3 minutes left, it was 60-64 and the pace of the game was awesome. But in true Thunder style, it went right down to the very last minute to equalise, then we put in 3 more goals for good measure! The final whistle went at long last with the crowd going wild at the 67-64 score.
Head Coach Karen Greig said:
“The game was up and down. Everything we threw at them wasn’t working. Every quarter talk was to keep on pushing through. The girls kept their character and unity and we triumphed through. The final quarter seeing 30 goals, Thunder scoring the 21 to confirm the win was incredible.”
Thunder Starting 7:
- GS MVULA
- GA TURNER
- WA NEAL
- C O’HANLON
- WD MALCOLM
- GD DOVEY
- GK NGWIRA