Surrey Storm vs Manchester Thunder Match Preview


This is the biggest weekend of the season for Manchester Thunder.

The unbeaten side face both Surrey Storm and Hertfordshire Mavericks in the space of three days.

Storm are really hitting their rhythm, beating Mavericks in the record-breaking London Live match at the Copperbox in Olympic Park last time out and offer up the toughest test.

A number of Surrey play will cause Thunder problems, with player-coach Tamsin Greenway close to her imperious best and England captain Pamela Cookey takes a step closer to regaining her pre-injury form every time she takes to the court.

Thunder may have beaten Storm in the opening fixture of the season, but history shows the Black and Yellows do not travel well when it comes to facing the Surrey outfit on their home turf.

Thunder mid-courter Beth Cobden said: “It’s going to be a big weekend. We never really do too well against Surrey away so it will be a big challenge.”

The contrasting fixture in 2014 was an end-to end thriller, finishing in a tie. But due to a Superleague rule-change, draws are no longer possible and teams must play extra time (and penalty shots if needs be)to grind out a result.

The new rule hasn’t come into play so far this season but these two are so closely matched, it is a distinct possibility on Saturday.

A win for Thunder would put them firmly in the driving seat to reach a second successive grand final but a victory for Surrey could swing the season wide open again.

Thunder will then face Hertfordshire Mavericks on Monday, themselves facing a battle to secure a semi-final place.

Report by Denise Evans