Double Bubble for London Pulse as U19 & U21s take the win v Manchester Thunder

U19’s Match Report – by Hannah Gibson

After thei first game and first win of the season, Pulse were ready and raring to face a tough Manchester Thunder side who travelled to Redbridge, London on Saturday 9th December. Pressure was on but spirits were high as Pulse were determined to come out with another win, after such a great and clinical performance last week against Severn Stars.

Starting seven:

GS – Emily Greensmith

GA – Hannah Gibson 

WA – Daisy Beer

C – Summer Chapman

WD – Oonagh Christensen

GD – Ellie Sadler

GK – Zaneya Cunningham 

Substitutions: Brogan Bostock, Coco Williams, Ella Bloomfield-Bowmaker, Jane Sigobodhla, Temi Dawodu

Quarter 1:

Right from the first whistle, Pulse came out firing with an early lead. Finding their way through Thunder’s defence with slick play in attack and accurate shooting from both Gibson and Greensmith. Defence also turning over ball at the other end, limiting Thunder’s shots at goal. However, despite the convincing lead, Pulse still had a long way to go and more work to do. Quarter score: 20-13

Quarter 2

A storming start in the second quarter saw Pulse dominate and extend their lead further. Outstanding interceptions from the defensive partnership of Cunningham and Sadler allowed Pulse to transition quickly down court and score from their turnovers. Bloomfield-Bowmaker entering the court at WD to add to Pulse’s great defensive pressure. Strong drives and pinpoint feeds from Beer were also pivotal in attack and opened up space for the shooters. However, a few mistakes creeping into Pulse’s play allowed Thunder to shorten the gap and get a run of goals at the end of the quarter. Half-time score: 32-24

Quarter 3:

After the short half-time break, Pulse were eager to now stick to their structures and clean up their mistakes. Chapman and Beer providing flawless feeds into the shooting circle for both Greensmith and Gibson to finish with such accurate and confident shooting. Down in the defensive end, Sadler still providing immense pressure, forcing balls off the backline or straight into the hands of Cunningham. Every ball highly contested, Pulse adapting well to the physicality of the game. Extending their lead yet again, slick play through court with well-timed drives saw Pulse flying going into the final quarter. End of quarter 3 score: 46-36

Quarter 4:

Motivated to push on until the end, Pulse again starting strong in both attack and defence. Christensen back on at WD tipping and forcing balls off court. Chapman linking defence to attack with such speed and agility for Beer to feed effortlessly into the circle. Halfway through the quarter we see Coco Williams enter the court at GS, Temi Dawodu enter at WD, and Brogan Bostock enter at C – all three making great impact to extend Pulse’s lead. Energy still high, with Sadler and Cunningham continuously turning ball in the defensive circle, whilst Gibson and Williams scoring long-bombs in attack. A well-contested and incredible team performance sees London Pulse take the win against Manchester Thunder.

Final Score: 59-43

Overall shooting stats: 84%

Players of the Match:

Oppositions player – Emily Greensmith

Coaches player – Summer Chapman

U21 Match Report

Our starting seven:
Ali Mecklenburgh (GS)
Regan Peters (GA)
Hannah Knightbridge (WA)
Sophia Shalabi (C)
Izzi Phillips (WD)
Darcie Everitt (GD)
Tami Fapohunda (GK)

The atmosphere was charged with excitement by Pulse supporters on our home ground. After our team chant, everyone stepped on the court fueled with determination and with one goal in mind… to win!

With immense pressure on the defensive end, our first interception was made shortly after the first whistle, setting the benchmark for a highly competitive match. Great teamwork and tenacity on court enabled Pulse to seize a three point lead in the first five minutes. Our attacking players definitely displayed their strength through responding to Manchester Thunder’s intense defence, ending the first quarter 16-7.

As the second quarter unfolded, both teams intensified their efforts, with Pulse determined to prevent the opposition from narrowing the gap. Despite a few loose balls and passing errors, we were able to regain fluidity down the court. A few switches from Thunder’s attacking players did not shake our defence and everyone’s loud voices and strategic play enabled the quarter to end with a lead of nine goals.

During our half time team talk, positional targets were set by coaches Taylor Glassie and Lisa Brown to ensure a clean and clinical win. The court truly became a stage for athleticism, with our shooters receiving balls which looked as if they were thrown multiple metres in the air. Defence set up some successful flies and pressure on the opposition was maintained and every player contributed to the unfolding drama.

With the final quarter at hand, fatigue was evident but the team worked hard to stick to task. The appearance of Rudee R, Claudia B, and Beth L. helped to facilitate some fantastic turnovers despite Thunder’s very physical tactics to win ball.

The final score ended in 55-39 to Pulse, ending with another victory at the start of the season.

Coaches Player: Ali

Opposition Player: Tami