Brunel Hurricanes revived their Co-operative Netball Superleague play off aspirations with a 69-12 victory over an injury weakened Northern Thunder at the Guildford Spectrum Centre. The win, which moves Brunel to within a point of Mavericks and Team Bath, brings the London side back into play off contention and increases the importance of the Hurricanes' match against Mavericks on Friday.
Wracked with injuries throughout their squad in the run up to the game, Northern Thunder arrived in Guildford with only seven fit players, and were soon 5-0 behind after some strong defensive work by Naida Hutchinson, Kate Mahoney and Sonia Mkoloma, playing her final home game before travelling to New Zealand to play for Pulse in the forthcoming ANZ Championships.
Brunel led 15-6 at the first interval and 33-9 at half time. With one eye on the challenges ahead, Hurricanes coach Denise Holland took the opportunity to give court time to some of her bench players, with student Rhianne McHale fitting seamlessly into the side's frontline at GS and Samantha Dick impressing at C.
Thunder continued to press on, with Sarah Taylor having a good game at C, but eventually the speed and intensity of the game took their toll, and when De Shong was forced to leave the court in the final quarter, Thunder’s resistance was finished. Brunel know that there are sterner challenges ahead if they are to achieve their hoped-for play off spot.
Starting line ups:
Brunel Hurricanes: GS Joseph, GA Welham, WA Francis, C Nichols, WD Mahoney, GD Mkoloma, Gk Hutchinson
Changes/substitutions: 2nd Q: C Buchanan, 3rd Q: GS McHale, WD Fearon, 4th Q: C Dick, WD Bello, Mahoney to GD
Northern Thunder: GS Szehofner, GA De Shong, WA Gayle, C Taylor, WD Greenhough, GD Ghazizadeh, GK Ferneyhough
Changes/substitutions: 4th Q: Taylor to GA, Greenhough to WA, Gayle to C, Ghazizadeh to WD, Ferneyhough to GD, Szehofner to GK
Umpires Janice Treasure and Angie Farr