Day 2 of VNSL Spring Showdown and Storm clash with top of the table undefeated Manchester Thunder who are dominating the league this season. Both teams come in playing back-to-back as Storm pushed last season’s champions Loughborough Lightening to the wire losing by 3 goals yesterday. Whilst Thunder put on a clinic against Sirens taking a 73-51 victory.
Peace Proscovia begins the game striking first as Thunder lose possession from FCP and Storm take an early 2 goal lead. Despite the rocky start Thunder recover ball and quickly go ahead 2-4.
Thunder control the tempo playing with patience in the through court to find both Cardwell and Mvula as both deadly shooters find the bottom of the net. Manchester leap ahead by 4 goals.
Proscovia Peace does a great job holding the back space on Almond to take feeds from Parsons and Austin to keep Storm in the game.
However, at the other end of the court Middleton and Kwangwa attempt to double on Mvula which allows Caldwell to find joy in the circle and Manchester create a cushion towards the end of the first quarter.
With the Score line starting to slip Storm make a change at the GA position as Frankie Wells comes off for Emma Magee finishing the quarter 10 – 14 in advantage of Thunder.
Thunder starts the 2nd quarter with conviction providing multiple options to the ball. Storms scrappy play in the opening 7 minutes allow Manchester to quickly transition and execute.
As the game begins to run away to a 9-goal deficit, Storm try to force Thunder to try something new as Felisitus Kwangwa comes off for Alima Priest and Leah Middleton moves to GD.
Nat Metcalf who would go on to win player of the match dominates the court and Thunder take full control of the game. With the POM looking comfortable on court Storm make a further change as Kwangwa replaces Cooper at WD.
Storm struggle to hold onto the ball as Manchester Thunder defence win the physical battle and Storm are unable to feed Goal Shooter Peace. The excellent team defence results in Storm taking only 9 shot attempts across the quarter.
The undefeated Thunder look to put the game to bed early as they head to the locker room with an 11-goal lead 23 – 34.
Looking to shake the game up in the second half and try to chip away at the score line, Storm start the with a new line up in Priest, Middleton, Sullivan, Parsons, Candappa, Magee and Peace.
Candappa makes an impact into the game showing her experience finding Proscovia Peace from range. But Thunder continues to pile on the points to the scoreboard as the game slips out of Storms grasp and Thunder add another 10 goals on the lead since the half time break.
Thunder brings on Person and Metcalf moves to GA to replace Mvula. Cutting in all angles Thunder move the ball side to side as Storm are unable to get their hands on the ball and regain possession.
Finding a better rhythm to finish the quarter Priest manages to get a stop in defence but Thunders 22 goals to Storms 9 see the Manchester side lead 32 – 55.
With such a big deficit to make up Storm play for pride in the last quarter to stay in the game both physically and mentally. This showed by being Storms highest quarter in scoring with 18 goals.
The Surrey side went goal for goal with Thunder in the final quarter up until the last few minutes. With fatigue setting in Manchester rotate their bench and play some of their younger athletes to gain some experience under the bright lights of the World Resorts Arena.
The league leaders finish off their outstanding performance hitting the 80-goal mark on the buzzer to break the scoring record for the 2022 season.