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Eleanor Cardwell shoots for goal

Eleanor Cardwell has been in top form for Thunder this season. Image: Ben Lumley

The penultimate Monday Night Netball is upon us, and what a cracker we have in store.

The TV cameras will be at the Copper Box this evening as London Pulse take on leaders Manchester Thunder.

Pulse have been the breakout stars of the season, qualifying for the play-offs for the first time with their exciting young squad while Thunder will want to retain their unbeaten record.

Previous Meetings 

The other meeting between these two sides was an incredibly close affair, as Thunder edged past Pulse by just three goals.

It was the joint-closest anyone has come to defeating Thunder this season, as well as the lowest score Thunder have posted, something Pulse will surely take confidence from having made plenty of positive strides since then.

A close game saw the sides go goal for goal, with Joyce Mvula and Olivia Tchine both serenely calm with the ball in hand.

Both sides put in a huge defensive effort too, with Funmi Fadoju making a huge nine turnovers and eight deflections and Kerry Almond posting 10 deflections on her 200th Thunder appearance.

Last Five Meetings 

March 2022: Manchester Thunder 51-48 London Pulse 

May 2021: London Pulse 42-50 Manchester Thunder 

Feb 2021: Manchester Thunder 57-30 London Pulse 

April 2019: London Pulse 42-71 Manchester Thunder 

January 2019: Manchester Thunder 62-47 London Pulse 

The Season So Far 

It has been a successful season for both sides this season, with both looking ahead to the play-offs next week.

Thunder still remain unbeaten after 18 games, and will be hoping to keep their record in tact as they look for their first Vitality Netball Superleague title since 2019.

Pulse have also secured their place in the top four for the very first time, with Sam Bird’s exciting young team looking to upset the odds in next week’s play-offs as the league’s surprise package.

Key match-up – Funmi Fadoju v Eleanor Cardwell 

It will be a battle of the Roses that could make all the difference on Monday evening, with a new face on the block taking on one of the most established players.

Funmi Fadoju has been outstanding in defence for Pulse this season, with the Londoners missing her presence when she was out with injury midway through the season.

But the 19-year-old is back and firing on all cylinders, and will need to be at her very best to stop Thunder’s Eleanor Cardwell. 

While Fadoju has recently been included in the Roses programme for the first time, Cardwell has been there since it went full-time in 2016 and has spearheaded Thunder’s devastating attack.

The 27-year-old has an incredible 525 goals this season, mainly from goal attack, and will have to be well-shackled by Fadoju if Pulse are to emerge victorious.

In Numbers 

600 – both sides boast a goal attack with over 600 goals this season, with Thunder’s Joyce Mvula netting 651 to Olivia Tchine’s 632 for Pulse.

4 – the number of Pulse players called-up to the Roses programme for the first time, as Zara Everitt, Funmi Fadoju, Olivia Tchine, and Ellie Rattu were all named by Jess Thirlby.

1258 – the number of goals scored by Thunder so far this season, 94 more than anyone else.

39 – the number of points Pulse have won this season, more than their three previous seasons combined.

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