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MATCH REPORT | SARACENS MAVERICKS U19S 49 - 57 WASPS U19S

3rd March 2020

The 6th round of the U19 NPL season took our Mavericks squad to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry to face Wasps. Once again, we knew we had a tough match ahead and, in the build-up, we worked hard to make improvements from our previous performances. The starting seven was as follows:

GS - Libby Burgess

GA - Eleanor Butt

WA - Amy Durand

C - Bella Baylis

WD - Jada Brathwaite-Scott

GD - Katie Fisher

GK - Jada Cooke

Wasps were sure to make an explosive impact from the first whistle as they scored off their centres and turned over ball going 3-0 up in the first few minutes. Despite the slow start from Mavericks we settled into the game and took back a run of three as Brathwaite-Scott leapt for intercepts on second phase and Baylis seamlessly directed the ball through mid-court. The quarter proceeded goal for goal, but Wasps capitalised on Mavericks passing errors and enjoyed another run of three. As the quarter drew to a close, Durand and Butt continued to dominate the attacking centre pass and Burgess showed great strength in the circle ready for feeds. Despite Mavericks fighting to get the deficit back, a final run of three from Wasps saw the first quarter score as 16-12 to the home side.

Going into the second quarter Vicky Booth took to court at WD and Jasmine Nightingale came on at C. Once again Wasps came to court with greater intensity and more clinical play as they had a run of 4 at the start of the quarter thanks to their dominant goal shooter and  Mavericks passing errors. Mavericks swiftly realised they needed to get back in the game and both ends stepped up with Cooke and Fisher utilising their switches to limit Wasps feeding opportunities. The quarter proceeded goal for goal as Mavericks found some consistency and our shooters maintained great accuracy.

The second half of this quarter showed Mavericks still had a lot to give and left the half time score at 29-24.

The third quarter saw lots of changes from both teams. In defence Fisher moved to GK, Booth moved to GD and Brathwaite-Scott came back on to WD. In attack Baylis return to court at C, Jemma Nightingale came on at GA and Butt switched to GS. A new shooting circle brought a different dynamic and Nightingale played to her strengths as she used her rapid pace to get depth and offer a front option. Wasps remained strong and had a resilient through court attack that was difficult to break down. The game remained relatively tight with both teams taking runs of two and turning over lots of ball. Unfortunately, Mavericks couldn’t reduce the deficit and the score at the end of the third quarter was left 42-35 to Wasps.

The final quarter changes saw Burgess return to GA, Jas Nightingale to C and Baylis moved to WA. Wasps held fast and were adamant not to lose their lead, but we kept them goal for goal throughout most of quarter. Booth and Fisher worked relentlessly to force Wasps attacking circle to change things up as Baylis and Brathwaite-Scott held Wasps mid court off the circle edge. Mid way through the quarter Mavericks made more changes. In attack Jemma Nightingale came on to GA and Burgess moved to GS and in defence Poppy Tydeman made her NPL debut at WD. Immediately she set a precedent as she took an interception and brought a new energy to the court. Mavericks worked through to the end but unfortunately as a team it wasn’t enough and the game ended with Wasps taking the win 57-49.

We will reflect and learn from the game and know that our error rate cost us many opportunities to take the lead. Wasps were a strong competition, but we know we could perform better. We will train hard and attack the second half of the season with renewed ferocity.

Coaches Player and Players Player of the Match – Bella Baylis.

Written by Eleanor Butt (Under 19s Captain)