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Manchester Thunder

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Wasps

Match Details

28th February 2022
Round 5
Belle Vue
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Match Results

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First Centre Pass

Caroline O’Hanlon
Caroline O’Hanlon Manchester Thunder View profile

Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Natalie Metcalf was brought in during the 2022 signing window

Natalie Metcalf was one of the signings of the 2022 window. (Image: Touchlinepics)

Manchester Thunder continued their unbeaten run with a 71-51 win over Wasps – their biggest ever-win against this opposition.

Back on home soil, sentiments were high as Shadine van der Merwe officially recovered from injury to debut for the Black and Yellows whilst goal keeper Kerry Almond returned for the first time in nearly three years to Belle Vue’s court in front of the home crowd following her temporary retirement.

As the only unbeaten team in the VNSL, Thunder were keen to keep that title going. A strong looking starting 7 swatted the Wasps' early attempts away with some great interceptions from Almond and Caroline O’Hanlon. Laura Malcolm applied enough pressure to force Wasps centre Lauren Nicholls into dropping the ball for Malcolm to collect before setting up a goal. By the end of quarter one, Thunder almost doubled the score of Wasps at 19-10.

Despite Wasps upping their tempo, leading to many tussles between Almond and Rachel Dunn, Thunder took advantage of their defensive structure. Rotating between Eleanor Cardwell, Natalie Metcalf and Joyce Mvula in the circle, the three took turns to give Thunder a 92 per cent shooting accuracy. Thunder entered half-time with a strong lead of 38-22.

Despite the score, it proved to be a really physical game which became evident in the second half where the Black and Yellows were zig-zagging all over the court, especially evident in speedy Metcalf. Shadine van der Merwe comes on as her debut for Thunder and instantly made some impressive interceptions.

Entering quarter four on 53-34, this gave Head Coach Karen Greig the chance to try out new combos so switched up a number of players and by the full time whistle there were five Pathway youngsters - Roebuck, Parsons, Eza-Wilson, Sanders and Rayner - on court who were able to increase Thunder’s lead to 20 goals.

This tipped them over the 70 goal mark for the fourth time this season. The final score of 71-51 made it Thunder’s biggest win against Wasps and continued their unbeaten run with a firm nod.

Gilbert Player of the Match: Natalie Metcalf (Manchester Thunder).

Match report provided by Manchester Thunder.