Thunder win England Netball’s U21 Showdown


Thunder’s young stars won England Netball’s inaugural U21 Showdown with an impressive, unbeaten five games over four days in Worcester.
In the opening stage of the competition over the first two days, Manchester Thunder topped Group A. The U21s beat Loughborough Lightning 50-40, West Midlands Warriors 62-51 and Hertfordshire Mavericks 61-42.
Topping the Group set up a semi-final on Saturday with Surrey Storm. It was a close and nailbiting encounter but Thunder never gave up and took the victory by 55 points to 51.
The Grand Final on Sunday was between Thunder and Team Bath and it was a brilliant start from Thunder as they took a 21 points to 8 lead in quarter one. Bath came out fighting in Q2 and closed the gap slightly but there was still a healthy 16 point lead for Thunder going into half-time, 35-19.
After the break, Thunder held strong and maintained their 16 point advantage at the end of Q3 (45-29) and continued to push until the final whistle, taking the title by 56 points to 39.
Every player in the squad took the court throughout the tournament showing the strength in depth of Thunder’s talented young stars.
Thunder U21 squad:
Amy Carter, Amy Clinton, Taylor Cullen, Iona Darroch, Dominique Ford-Gordon, Lucy Harris, Rebecca Harrison-Pitt, Beccy Hoult, Paige Kindred, Gabby Marshall (captain), Ellie Smith and Abby Tyrrell