Thunder make flying start to the season with NTL tournament win in Hull
This was an outstanding pre-season tournament for the NTL girls in Hull with all 15 Thunderbirds taking to the court and all contributing to some massive wins against strong opposition. Our first scalps of the day were the Junior Dragons, their fire soon dampened out though with some slick passing and accurate shooting, final score was 21 – 5.
The Thunderbirds were fired up and ready to tackle anything thrown at them; in true style they continued their march with solid wins against Yorkshire Jets, Team South and Team Bath with only Loughborough Lightning putting up a good fight to push Thunder to the end. By lunchtime every player had taken the court in the black and gold and the coaches were delighted that they had been able to test a number of new combinations to complement the strong foundations built from last year.
The second half of the day saw Thunder meet West Midlands Warriors and Team Northumbria before the last big two in Mavericks and Storm, in actual fact it was Team Northumbria who caused us the most difficulty in the afternoon with their fluid style of play and accurate shooters – but the second half of this game saw Thunder outscore their rivals by 11 goals to 4 to make it 7 out of 7 for the NTL girls.
Mavericks was always going to be billed as a close one but with a rousing pre-match chat and with the Thunderbirds brimming with confidence they saw off their London rivals by 20 goals to 9, the shooters scoring with 100% accuracy in the second half. Last game to go against Surrey Storm proved again why the NTL Manchester Thunder girls are the best in the land, the first half was a little sticky with some unforced errors and a couple of crucial shots missed but the second half showed true northern grit to power through to a stunning 19-11 win, the Storm fizzled out and the Thunder roared!
Each and every NTL Thunderbird played her part in this weekend, the squad contained seasoned internationals as well as young rookies but it was a pleasure to see the combinations working and the court relationships forming that will take this squad through the season. Most impressive was the squad’s ability to do as the coaches asked, both technically and tactically, intelligent players who followed the plans and implemented them whilst taking no prisoners – a delight to coach and very exciting for the future, well done girls – a great performance!
Squad: Captain Georgie Webster
Jen Ball, Amy Clinton, Helen Housby, Katie Lee, Courtney Savage
Rebecca Aspin, Caroline Glen, Becky Hoult, Gabi Marshall, Lucy Matthews, Rachel Towell
Rebecca Airey, Jess Dale, Paige Kindred
Lucia Sdao & Gabs Towell