R14: Lightning 65- Thunder 57
Lightning beat Thunder in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
After a hugely competitive match, Lightning secured the win over Manchester Thunder 65-57 and gained another three points in the league. Both teams remain in the top four of the table and look to learn and recover before their next game.
A strong start to a very competitive game with both Lightning and Thunder in the top four of the table and fought for each goal. From the first whistle both teams showed their intent to secure the three points.
Alice Harvey and Fran Williams commanded the defensive third and confidently sustained possession. Along with Rhea Dixon’s wide play which created goal scoring opportunities for Mary Cholhok. Thunder brought their own defensive unit and were continuously fast in their decision making.
A change was seen in the middle of the first quarter with Jas Odeogberin exiting the court at wing-defence for Lauren Nicholls but still Lightning looked strong.
Half-time: Loughborough Lightning 32 – 30 Manchester Thunder
Lightning led by just two goals at half-time and seemed increasingly confident in their play. Throughout the second quarter the play was end-to-end, but Williams completed several vital interceptions to win the possession back for Lightning.
Cholhok battled for aerial balls amongst the Thunder defence to increase Lightning’s lead. Thunder’s communication remained present in the second quarter as Nat Panagarry persisted to mark all players across the court. Harvey continued her determined defence as the Thunder attack fired a successive number of passes into the attacking third.
Lightning increased their lead to 7 points after the third quarter with turnovers in play from Thunder footwork faults and balls being fed Dixon to Cholhok. In the middle of the court battles were prominent as each team urged to take the lead once again.
Thunder utilised long passes to bring about goal scoring chances and keep team morale high. They were also drawing Lightning defenders wide to create space in the attacking third however Lauren Nicholls and Panagarry commanded centre court and fought for every pass.
Harvey’s commitment and interceptions remained a spectacle on court with team playing able to build from defence.
The final quarter was a monumental between Lightning and Thunder with both teams exploiting space and endlessly moving in the look for the next pass. Cholhok’s dominance stood out as the energy from all Lightning players attacked the Thunder defence and applied constant pressure. Williams’ attacking play was particularly noticeable as she propelled balls down court leading to several goals and increasing Lightning’s lead further.
Another substitution was seen in the final quarter with Hannah Joseph exiting the court and Emma Thacker taking goal-attack whilst Dixon switched to wing-attack. Again, the confidence from all the team was unwavering throughout.
Full-time: Loughborough Lightning 65 – 57 Manchester Thunder
Lightning’s next home match comes against Severn Stars on 6th May at 6 pm at the Sir David Wallace Arena.
Match Report: Lightning Website
Image: Morgan Harlow
Alice Harvey – Long Tall Sally Player of the Match
Tickets to Lightning’s 2023 home campaign are now on sale and can be purchased at: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/sport/performance/lightning/netball/fixtures-results/
GS: Mary Cholhok
GA: Rhea Dixon
WA: Hannah Joseph
C: Nat Panagarry
WD: Jas Odeogberin
GD: Fran Williams
GK: Alice Harvey