R4: Sirens Vs Thunder
In their second home game of the season, Strathclyde Sirens faced Manchester Thunder at the Emirates Arena. In what was a closely contested battle, Thunder took the win 71-60.
Sirens were first on the scoreboard after a long bomb from goal attack, Niamh McCall. Going goal for goal in the opening minutes, Sirens showed composure against a strong Thunder side. Both teams were consistent in their performance, but it was Dix who was the standout with her creativity in attack, providing her shooters with accurate feeds into the circle. Defensively, the experienced Emily Nicholl took control, giving Conway confidence and the opportunity to win ball for their team. After the first 15 minutes, Thunder managed to edge in front, 17-16.
No changes from either side but it was the visitors that came out firing, gaining a 9-goal lead with 8 minutes remaining in the first half. Manchester Thunder seemed to be in control until Nicholl disrupted their flow, coming away with a huge intercept. This shifted the momentum, allowing for Sirens to fight back, putting pressure on Thunder. MacPhail came on at goal defence with Nicholl moving back into keeper giving the team an extra boost before the end of the first half. Thunder managed to hold their lead with the score standing at 34-28.
Heading into the second half, Maxwell entered the court at wing defence as Sirens hoped to close in on their opposition. Goodwin was strong under the post, providing the team with options and opportunity to convert. Thunder was clinical in their transition from defence to attack, demonstrating great speed which
Sirens struggled to shut down. Changes were made to try and disrupt the flow of Thunder’s attack with Conway re-entering the court at goalkeeper, moving Nicholl back out into goal defence. The duo worked tirelessly to gain ball combining with Maxwell and Abernethy out in front. As the whistle went concluding the third quarter, Thunder led 51-43.
Immediately having an impact in defence, Conway took an impressive intercept which was rewarded by her teammates down the other end. With an 8-goal difference, Sirens were determined to narrow the gap. Dix had excellent vision into the circle, delivering pin-point feeds for both Goodwin and McCall with the attacking trio linking well together. With help from their home crowd, Sirens lifted across the court, letting the ball go and applying full team pressure. Sirens injected Taylor McKevitt into the game at centre hoping to take their performance up another level, but Thunder were too strong on this occasion
taking the win 71-60.
Final Score: 60 Sirens – Thunder 71
Player of the Match: Joyce Mvula (Manchester Thunder)
“It’s absolutely amazing, we love our Sirens Tribe, and we are so glad to be back” – Nicholl
Sirens next home game takes place Friday 25th Feb at Emirates Arena, Glasgow.
Tickets available from www.sirensnetball.com