Honours Split in the U19 & U21 NPL Matches v Manchester Thunder
With the NPL leagues hotting up, the honours were split versus Manchester Thunder with London Pulse taking the win at U19 and Thunder at U21.
U19 Match Report by Sophia Shalabi – London Pulse 62 – Manchester Thunder 54
After a good win against Northeast London Pulse had a top of the table clash against the strong side, Manchester Thunder. The girls knew this was going to be a tough game and needed mental strength and resilience to see them through.
Starting seven was: Hannah A Hannah G Hannah K Sophia S Izzi P Sasha H Tami F
Bench: Daisy B, Ellie S, Coco W, Zaneya C, Jess S.
Pulse had a task of going into the game strong and playing to their usual standards while maintaining composure throughout. The first quarter of the game went goal for goal for the first half with Pulse going up by a couple but then being challenged by the strong Manchester side and things went back level. Nevertheless, Pulse maintained their cool and finished the quarter. 15-14.
No changes for start of second quarter. Daisy Beer brought to WA halfway through. Pulse continued their fight into the second quarter with great speed of play in attack getting ball to shooters who collectively has 93% shooting accuracy that quarter. This was nicely complimented by the turnovers coming from both defence and attack meaning Pulse managed to extend they lead, 29-26.
Quarter 3 saw no changes from the start. Hannah K introduced at C with 5 mins on the clock. Pulse had gained rhythm in the second quarter and carried it on nicely into the third. Lots of great intercepts from Sasha H and Izzi P helped pulse gain more confidence in themselves to carry on pushing through. And once again shooting stats were at 90% which really helped the Pulse gain a good lead going into the final quarter. 48-40.
Quarter 4 changes Hannah K to WA, Sophia S to C. A strong final push had to come from Pulse to make sure they secured the win as they knew Manchester Thunder would still put up a fight. However, grit and determination saw the girls finish the game to win 62-54.
Player of the match went to Hannah Gibson for her calm yet fierce play in the circle and great movement in the D to open up space. Topped with some outstanding shooting under immense amounts of pressure!
U21 Match report by Ellie Chambers
Manchester Thunder U21 65-41 London Pulse U21
GS: Hannah Anyanwu
GA: Freya Henshall
WA: Courtney Ferns
C: Ellie Chambers
WD: Jade Popoola
GD: Isla May
GK: Sasha Howard
Team Bench: Ebiso Whyte, Jess Symonds, Indi Olunloyo, Matilda Smyth
The U21’s travelled to Manchester on Saturday to face an unbeaten Thunder team. After a promising week of training, Pulse were looking to right the wrongs of the previous few matches, but a tough match lay ahead.
Following a slow start, with Pulse down 6-1 in the opening minutes, we managed to fight back through great defence from Sasha, Jade and Isla and take the ball to goal safely. A strong finish meant we went into quarter time only down by one goal.
¼: Manchester Thunder 14-15 London Pulse
Changes: Indi to WA, Ebiso to WD
Pulse gained more confidence going into the second quarter. Great feeding from Indi and accurate shooting from Hannah and Freya allowed Pulse to go goal-for-goal for most of the quarter, but Thunder’s strong through court attack and patience allowed them to extend their lead to 4 at half time.
½: Manchester Thunder 27-23 London Pulse
Changes: Courtney to WA
Another close quarter ensued, both teams displayed great passages of play with Pulse’s defence turning over lots of ball and mid-court working hard to link into attack. Thunder just got the better of Pulse again, now 7 goals up going into the break.
¾: Manchester Thunder 42-35 London Pulse
Changes: Ellie to WA, Indi to C, Isla to GK, Jade to GD
Pulse had lots of belief going into the final quarter, and were ready to fight back for the final fifteen minutes. Despite lots of changes, seeing Matilda and Jess feature in attack, Pulse were unable to break a dominant Thunder run which saw them score 12 goals unchallenged. This was a disappointing end for Pulse, with the final score not reflecting the close battle of the two teams in the previous three quarters.
Full time score: Manchester Thunder 65-41 London Pulse
Coaches PoM: Isla
Thank you to our opposition for hosting us, our umpires and officials, and of course all our supporters who made the long journey to watch.