Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Natalie Haythornthwaite says it is vital that Wasps Netball continue to build momentum during the second half of the season.
When the league leaders face Manchester Thunder at the Ricoh Arena on Friday April 27 (7.00pm centre-pass) the fixture marks the midway point in the Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.
It will also be a re-match of last season’s Superleague semi-final, which Wasps won 63-48 on their way to being crowned as champions.
After winning Commonwealth Games gold for England on the Gold Coast, Haythornthwaite made her return to club action on Sunday against Team Bath. The wing attack said she enjoyed being back at the Ricoh, and praised Wasps’ team spirit ahead of the visit of Thunder.
“It’s great to be back with the girls. We all click so well and there is a growing confidence in the team,” she said.
“Getting a 16-goal win against a very strong Team Bath side was a great way to return. It also keeps the momentum going from before the break which is vital as we go into the second half of the season.
“It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me, and I’ve had to concentrate on getting some sleep and refuelling to be ready for Friday.
“Thunder will be very tough opponents – we won a game apiece in the regular season last year before we went on to beat them in the semi-final.
“They are a team that fights right to the end and we know it is going to be hard, but we’ve prepared well and hopefully will get another win on the board.”
Wasps have the only remaining unbeaten record in this season’s Superleague, but Director of Netball Tamsin Greenway knows they must stay at the top of their game to maintain that record.
“This league is very tight and we are not taking anything for granted,” she said.
“Come Friday evening we will have played every other club once, but we are expecting the second half of the season to be a big test.
“Right now, we are the team to beat. Manchester Thunder are a top side and will bring a different style but we will be ready to handle what they throw at us.”
Tickets for Wasps Netball v Manchester Thunder on April 27 are available from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets