Thunder finish regular season with 60 vs 45 win over Stars

Manchester Thunder finished the regular season in style with a 60-45 victory over Severn Stars.

Thunder will now head into the Final Four in Birmingham to play Wasps with confidence.
It was a match with a colourful twist as the Thunderdome showed support for the Stonewall campaign, which encourages equality in sport for the LGBT community.

Players wore rainbow laces and staff donned specially-designed t-shirts as the final game of the season at the Thunderdome finished with a splash of colour.
Thunder took their time to stamp their authority in the game but an impressive display from player of the match Joyce Mvula led their charge after a strong opening quarter from the visitors.

​Coach Karen Greig was keen to show ‘solidarity’ for the Rainbow Laces initiative. “We wanted to show that sport is for all and it’s great we got to support Rainbow Laces today,” She said.

Despite another sluggish start, Greig was delighted with her players’ overall performance. She added: “It’s great to finish the regular season with a sold win and performance.

“Despite another slow start we adapted well and started the second quarter strong, played our game and stuck to game plan for the remainder, which saw us put out a whole team solid performance.

​“It was great to get 10 players on the court and all did a great job.
“This gives us positive momentum leading into Final Four weekend”

It was another limp start for Thunder, a theme that has followed them all season, with Severn Stars taking a four goal lead into the first break.

But Thunder soon ignited the fire in the second quarter, as the Stars lead swiftly evaporated and the Black and Yellows forced a score advantage of their own.

​The introduction of Bea Skingsley at wing defence seemed to do the trick as Thunder cranked up the pressure and errors started to creep into Stars’ game.
The home side really started to find their form as half time approached, and they took a four-goal buffer into the break.

Thunder’s attack had considerable success in the second half, which was in the main down to Malawian shooter Joyce Mvula’s good form.
Despite a lull midway through the third quarter, Thunder continued to push on and allowed Greig to make a number of changes as the players staked their claim for a starting spot in the Wasps game.

Shooter Amy Clinton did herself no harm with a confident run-out and Sophie Morgan’s pace was always going to trouble a tiring Stars, as she entered the fray with five minutes to play.

It was a case of ‘job done’ for this match and with the pre-season goal to reach the play-offs.
Thunder’s attention now turns to being crowned Superleague champions once again, a title they last won in 2014.