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Round 10: Manchester Thunder take the win against a battling UWS Sirens after a hearty performance at home in the Emirates Arena

8th May 2018

Manchester Thunder take the win against a battling UWS Sirens after a hearty performance at home in the Emirates Arena.

UWS Sirens starting seven were GS Slater, GA Gallagher, WA McCleery, C Bayman, WD Brownie, GD Nicholl, GK Aiken Pinnock.

Manchester Thunder took the first centre pass of the game, however high energy defensive pressure from Aiken Pinnock led to a turnover and the first goal on the board for the UWS Sirens. In the first 10 minutes, both teams played goal for goal with the score line sitting at 10-10, each looking for the all-important turnover to get the upper hand. Thunder took the lead in the final seconds, rounding off quarter 1 12-14, but UWS Sirens were still very much in the game.

UWS Sirens and Thunder’s line up remained unchanged for quarter 2. Play got underway with Thunder’s ball but Bayman was ready to shut down their attack gaining an impressive intercept which led to Gallagher opening the second quarter with a goal. Thunder then upped their defensive pressure twinned with some clean and quick phases of attack, scooping up a 5-goal lead. This lead continued throughout the rest of the quarter until an error by Thunder gave Sirens a chance to convert and the half time buzzer blows, 24-28.

Second half kicked off with GS Slater, GA Walker, WA Murphy, C Bayman, WD Brownie, GD Nicholl and GK Aiken Pinnock on the court. 25 seconds in and Slater nets the first goal. The intensity and speed of the game became more electric, however this lead to a few over the top passes going straight out of court. Sirens struggled to find the gaps in Thunder’s defensive structure, allowing the visitors to creep ahead 26-38. Gibbons came on court to replace Nicholl at GD, Gallagher returned to GA and Goodwin stepped on to court GS. Third quarter ends on a 12-goal lead to Thunder 34-46.

Thunder continued to dominate in the final stages of the game, and Sirens were unable to shut down Mvula’s shooting. Lots of physicality within the last minutes of the game resulted in numerous contact calls for both teams. Despite the efforts from Sirens to bring the game back, Thunder had smartened up their play in the second half and it paid off, final score 42-64.

Player of the Match Sara Bayman said: “We had a really good first half, then Thunder got on top of us in the second half which is disappointing. We were let down by our own errors, but we’ll refocus and regroup for the next match.”