Manchester Thunder 51 Team Bath 55
Team Bath strode to victory with a well fought victory in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Thunder stuck to form with their notorious slow start, they simply couldn’t find any rhythm and with several unforced errors they handed Bath an early lead. Captain Sara Bayman was trying desperately to rally her troops and slowly but surely they clawed their way back in to the game. A flying interception from Laura Malcolm inspired her team and they narrowed team Bath’s lead to just two goals finishing the first quarter 16-14.
The second quarter really was the same story as the first but Thunder were more severely punished this time by Team Bath. They extended their lead to seven and led 33-26 at the half time break.
Thunder coach Tracey Neville rang the changes at half time. Krista Enziano was introduced at goal shooter, Rachel Henry took the wing attack patch with Beth Cobden moving to wing defence. Emma Dovey came to goal defence also with Georgie Webster going off, while Team Bath replaced Amanda Trounce at wing attack with Yasmin Parson
Thunder clearly had the bit between their teeth and immediately showed a new vigour and movement in the third quarter. The changes were working with Bayman and Rachel Henry finding the shooters more easily and Enziano was becoming a goal machine. Thunder came back to level the game at 36 all but with a couple of late goals by Team Bath the score was 42-40 at the break, but Thunder had won the quarter by five.
In the final quarter Neville chose to replace Housby with Turner in her only change while Team Bath coach Jess Thirlby put Trounce back on at wing attack. The home side were slow out of the blocks again giving Bath two easy goals before finding another gear. Pamela Cookey had other ideas and was allowed far too much room and she was dictating the game she guided her team to a 55-51 victory.
Thunder’s next match is away to Yorkshire Jets on Friday.
Thunder: GS Housby GA Turner WA Cobden C Bayman WD Malcolm GD Webster GK Almond
Bench: Enziano, Dovey, Gibson, Henry, Travis
Team Bath: GS Allison GA Cookey WA Trounce C Guthrie WD Ritchie GD Pritchard GK Penn
Bench: Masterson, Murie, Parsons, Scott