Northern netball giants Manchester Thunder and Yorkshire Jets are aiming to make sporting history when they face off at Netball Manchester Live on April 18th at the Manchester Arena.
The two teams will play in a season-ending Roses clash which is aiming to break the record for the highest attended domestic netball match ever held in the UK. The record is currently held by Netball London Live, held in March 2015, which attracted 6033 people.
Thunder and England Netball captain Sara Bayman has her eyes firmly set on the twin goals of beating her team’s Roses rivals in the Vitality Netball Superleague and topping the London attendance record. “This game is going to be all about rivalry,” said Bayman. “It’s us against Jets, the North West against Yorkshire, and the North against the South when it comes to breaking the attendance record. We want fans of both teams, and anyone across the region that just loves sport, to be there cheering and helping us make history.”
There is no doubt that any Roses encounter, whatever the sport, carries an extra surge of excitement and competitiveness. Netball Manchester Live will be no exception. While Manchester Thunder will head into the match with Yorkshire Jets as heavy favourites, Jets are an improving team and would no doubt love to beat their cross-Pennines rivals in front of a big crowd at the Manchester Arena.
Thunder triumphed in both fixtures, home and away, in the 2015 Superleague season but neither match was a pushover. Their meeting in Leeds was played at a high intensity, with the lead trading places right up to the final quarter, where Thunder edged it with a three-goal victory. But that game was nothing compared to the battle at the Thunderdome later in the season.
Jets put out one of their best performances in recent years to push Thunder to what would have been a shock home loss. But, with just minutes on the clock, Thunder levelled up the scores. Jets had the centre pass and had time to win it but a flying intercept from keeper Kerry Almond sparked a rapid move through court and Thunder snatched victory in the dying seconds.
Following the two wins over Jets in the regular season, Thunder headed to London to play their Rose Rivals at the Copper Box in the third-fourth play-off game. Thunder faced a Jets team who appeared to have run out of steam following their most successful regular season ever, winning the match relatively comfortably, 55-49.
Thunder v Jets at Netball Manchester Live will open up a new chapter in one of the oldest rivalries in sport. It is not to be missed.
With a record-breaking crowd expected, tickets are set to be in high demand when they go on sale on Wednesday 20th January. Tickets are available via www.netballmanchesterlive.com and keep up to date with all the news from Netball Manchester Live on Twitter @NetballMCRLive and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/netballmanchesterlive