Thunder roars loud to finish season on a high

MANCHESTER Thunder have finished their season on a high with a solid 55 goals to 38 win over the Surrey Storm to finish third in the Superleague for 2023. The game started much tighter than it ended, but a dominant third quarter from the Thunder really blew the match open.

The first quarter was one of swinging momentum. It was the Storm who raced ahead to the early lead after some slippery fingers from the Thunder in attack saw the Storm capitalise up the other end.

But their lead did not last long as the Thunder scored the next five goals to take the lead.

Just as the Thunder were starting to assert dominance over the game, the Storm came right back at their more fancied opponents and managed to level things up. The Thunder then retook the lead late in the quarter and the little mistakes began to really hurt the Storm.

In the end the Thunder’s lead at quarter time sat at six goals in what was a pretty high scoring quarter from the girls in yellow. The Storm got off to a great start in the second term, scoring the first three goals to halve the deficit.

However the resurgence was short lived as the Thunder retook control. Their lead pushed back out to as much as seven goals, but in saying that it was a low scoring quarter.

The body on body pressure from both sides was high, which was causing a lot of contact calls and disruptions to flow and momentum. A couple of late goals to the Storm ensured the half-time margin was back down to four goals.

The third quarter was where things really opened up for the Thunder. After the quarter initially went goal for goal, the Thunder began to take control of the match. The Thunder started to show why they are the defending champions, and it was just the little things letting the Storm down, and they just kept adding up.

The Thunder ultimately put up 20 goals in the third term and only let the Storm put up eight, and as such the lead had ballooned out to 16 goals at the final change. This really was the turning point for the Thunder as the little things continued to hurt the Storm.

The Storm were again restricted to only eight goals scored in the final term, and even though the Thunder only scored one more than that for the quarter themselves, it meant little after what had happened in the third term.

Manchester Thunder coach Karen Greig really rotated her squad throughout the game, with the full game day squad of 12 all seeing court time.

Amy Carter (36 feeds, two deflections, two turnovers) and Emma Dovey (four deflections, one intercept, one rebound, one turnover) was particularly impressive in the win despite the latter’s high penalty count. Lenize Potgieter (42 goals, one rebound, one feed, one turnover) was also prolific under the ring.

Meanwhile for the Storm Layla Guscoth (six deflections, one intercept, one turnover, one rebound) and Amy Flanagan (three turnovers, three deflections, two intercepts) were both impressive.

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