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Manchester Thunder

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Surrey Storm

Match Details

12th February 2022
Round 3
Belle Vue
Report Stats

Match Results

Watch On: Broadcaster Logo

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First Centre Pass

Mikki Austin
Mikki Austin Surrey Storm View profile

Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Photo credit Touchline Pics

Image: Touchline Pics

For their first home game in over 2 years, Thunder gave their home crowd an awesome display of a high scoring game. With an incredible 144 goals scored between the two teams, Thunder put over 70 goals on the board for their third game running, finishing the game with a close win of 76-68.

The first quarter seemed to show the how the game was going to go, with the sheer responsiveness of Storm giving them an early lead of 4-1. As Thunder welcomed Natalie Metcalf to her first VNSL after her time in Australia, the attacking connection between Metcalf, Caroline O’Hanlon, Eleanor Cardwell and Joyce Mvula was strong and could only be built upon as more minutes of game play was racked up. This easy connection made Thunder comfortable enough to give the ball off quickly and, in Joyce Mvula’s 6th season with Thunder, with a reliable player under the post.

Thunder managed to catch up with Storm’s lead but remained equal until the last few minutes when some fantastic passes between the Thunder attacking unit gave the home side a five goal advantage, much to the fans' delight.

In the second quarter, it was clear that if Thunder took their eye off the ball for just a second, Storm would take full advantage. Every time a gap opened up Storm fought back, spending most of quarter two breathing down the necks of Thunder. The Thunder players continued to make every extra effort to keep the game going, keeping balls in that looked destined for the sidelines and grasping rebounds from any missed goals. It was evident that every goal mattered at half time, where Thunder and Storm were neck and neck at 34 goals.

This equal game found players man marking each other all over the court, making free space a luxury and seeing the scoreboard tick over for both sides. A turnover for Thunder seemed to change the flow of the game and gave the northerners chance to add the pressure and, more importantly, add to their goal tally to enter the fourth quarter five goals up.

Storm took the first centre pass but coach and player Mikki Austin had her pass intercepted by Metcalf, leading to a strong turnover and a show of strength in the final quarter. Whether it was the echo of the Thunder drums or the emotive Head Coach Karen Greig jumping in and out of her seat, Thunder sped up the tempo to their advantage and their quick game play allowed them to grow their lead and look more clinical on the ball. They managed to keep their composure throughout the fluctuating scoreline and learned not to rest on their laurels once they were ahead, as they had done earlier in the game.

After a roller-coaster of a game, the final score gave Thunder their third win of the season, again putting over 70 goals on the scoreboard with the final score 76-68.

Gilbert Player of the Match: Eleanor Cardwell

Match report provided by Manchester Thunder