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MATCH REPORT 01/02/2020: SARACENS MAVERICKS U17S 53 - 45 MANCHESTER THUNDER U17S

4th February 2020

On Saturday 1st February the u17 Saracens Mavericks played the tactical and strong side Manchester Thunder away at Bell Vue sports centre. Despite the long journey made as a team, the girls came to the court prepared and energised, ready to play with intensity and precision. Taking the court first was:

GS - Louise Acons
GA - Daisy Porter
WA - Annabelle Hall (Captain)
C - Isla Finlay
WD - Sophia Pawlaczek
GD - Lucy Evans
GK - Tiana Ubesio


The first centre pass was awarded to Mavericks, with an opportunity to go to goal Mavs made an error which led to a Thunder free pass, which thankfully to the strength of our defensive hero Pawlaczeck made its way back to goal through the safe hands of Porter.  With their confidence re installed, Mavs went on to turn over Thunder’s first centre pass, setting a great tone for the rest of the quarter and starting the game strong 2-0. Yet, Thunder allowed no room for errors and their tight defence formation kept our attackers working persistently in order to bring the ball down the court safely. Throughout the quarter Mavs began to settle into the game, with a strong 17 attempts at goal. Mavs took the quarter 14-9.

Coming into the second quarter with a defensive switch, Hudson took the court confidently as GK. Within this quarter it was evident that Thunder were still in the game and desperate to turn over ball. This energy was matched by Mavs as we continued to play our attacking triangles and work together to get the ball in safely. In response, Thunder did the same with the goal difference tightening our defence stepped up massively in order to prevent them over taking with Evans making a stunning intercept which lead to a Mavericks goal. Steadying the game and consistently bringing the ball down the court was Finlay who remained calm throughout the high intensity which came alive from both teams within this quarter.

Together, the u17 side made 5 tips and 4 clean intercepts helping contribute massively to the steady work of our shooters. With the margin closing down, Mavs won the quarter 26-22.

As the score tightened, Mavs made a number of switches coming into quarter 3 to continue with the energy needed to win. Stepping into GS and GA was the dynamic duo Ubesio and Ecuyer Dale. Taking on the role as centre was Gibbins and stepping up as WD was Andrews. The changes saw Mavs playing with similar intensity yet through a couple of basic errors Thunder crept closer to our score. Through communication and determination, the girls proceeded to work as a team to compensate and pick up for each other’s errors still managing to make 18 attempts for goal and Tianna Ubesio with 100% shooting stats at the end of this quarter. Down the other end, despite Manchester’s well-rehearsed attack and their talented height Hudson managed to make a number of interceptions, tips and rebounds that made their way back to the shooters through the hard work and composure of Gibbins and Andrews.

After finally settling down, Mavs took the win for this quarter at a more comfortable score of 41-34.

Coming into the final quarter Mavericks lost composure slightly. Thunder began to capitalise on our faults and worked tirelessly to remain strong opponents in the game despite the goal difference. Once they began to settle again, Mavericks’ patience on the circle edge allowed us to continue our shooting accuracy. Our defence who continued to work together as a strong unit breaking downplay as much as possible. At the final whistle Mavericks took the win at 53-45.

Despite the intensity and moments of chaos Mavericks managed to redeem themselves and take the win proudly.

Coaches Player - Helaina Hudson

Players Player - Sophia Pawlaczek 

By Annabelle Hall - Under 19s Captain