Team Northumbria 49-61 Manchester Thunder
Storm stay perfect after win at Team Bath
Last Updated: 20/03/17 10:08pm
Manchester Thunder recorded a third straight win as they got the better of Team Northumbria in a physical battle at Newcastle's Sport Central.
Karen Greig's team started the season with a back-to-back defeats but her youthful squad is beginning to find its feet and they move up to fifth after victory. Team Northumbria remain rooted to the foot of the table after a fifth defeat from five games.
Also on Monday night, at Bath Sports Training Village Surrey Storm maintained their perfect start to keep pace with Loughborough Lightning at the top of the table.
Storm kept their cool in a thriller against Team Bath, but a dominant second quarter proved crucial as they racked up a 52-46 victory that takes them top of the table on goal difference.
2017 Vitality Superleague - Week Five Results
|Hertfordshire Mavericks||53-49||Celtic Dragons|
|Team Northumbria||49-61||Manchester Thunder|
|Team Bath||46-52||Surrey Storm|
In Newcastle, after an evenly contested opening 10 minutes it was Thunder who opened up the narrowest of leads with Kathryn Turner and Joyce Mvula combining to open up the first two-goal lead of the match.
But the hosts rallied and drew level thanks to some impressive early shooting from Georgia Rowe under the posts and Chiara Semple from range.
When Thunder looked to have pinched a one-goal advantage going into the first break, Rowe was on hand to nonchalantly flick in Semple's bounce-out and ensure a 15-all scoreline after the opening quarter.
More of the same followed in the second 15 minutes until Thunder opened up a four-goal lead, the biggest of the match as the Manchester defence got on top and allowed their attack to take full advantage.
Despite their four defeats, Northumbria have shown plenty of character this season and they did so again to haul themselves back into the match, Semple twice scoring from distance before Rowe levelled the scores.
An inspired Bea Skingsley led a Thunder charge going into half-time, a five-goal run with Turner clinical under the posts meant it was Greig's team who led 31-26 at the break as Northumbria looked rattled by a warning for shooter Rowe.
Northumbria rallied to close the gap to three goals before the umpires ordered a 30-second break for the captains to address their teams after the amount of persistent infringements.
And it was Thunder who responded, opening up a 10-goal lead that was to prove the difference as, despite a couple of flurries, the hosts were unable to make any inroads and were left reeling from umpire's calls.
A 45-36 lead at the end of the third quarter closed to seven goals in the final period as Northumbria attempted to mount an unlikely comeback, but once again turnovers were to cost the home side dear as Thunder reestablished a double-figure lead.
With the game seemingly beyond them, Northumbria produced their best spell of the match, clinical finishing from Tamsin Moala and some brilliant intercepts saw them reduce the gap to just five goals with seven minutes remaining.
However, ill-discipline was to cost Northumbria the chance of a grandstand finish and when Jaydene Robinson was given a two-minute suspension, Thunder were able to cruise the closing stages for a 61-49 victory that moves them level on points with Team Bath, who occupy the final play-off place.
Follow all the news from the Vitality Superleague on www.skysports.com/netball while our next live action comes next Monday when Severn Stars host Sirens on Sky Sports Mix from 7.30pm