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MATCH REPORT | SARACENS MAVERICKS U19S 53 - 66 LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING U19S

2nd March 2020

For our fifth match this season our U19s Saracens Mavericks team took to court against Loughborough Lightning in what we had anticipated to be a very challenging game. We were correct as both teams came out fighting to take home a win.

Our starting seven were:

GS - Libby Burgess

GA - Eleanor Butt

WA - Amy Durand

C - Bella Baylis

WD - Jada Brathwaite-Scott

GD - Vicky Booth

GK - Katie Fisher

The first quarter started off goal-for-goal with Burgess sinking the first shot of many for Mavericks. Unfortunately, Lightning came out with a stronger drive, capitalising on our unforced errors where we struggled to take advantage of theirs. Regardless, the defensive duo of Booth and Fisher maintained pressure on Lightning’s attack, attempting to disrupt their incredibly accurate GS. They were supported by a strong Brathwaite-Scott who challenged every pass to her WA and sought for any turnover opportunities to take ball down to attackers, Baylis and Durand, who fed effortlessly into the attacking circle. Despite Burgess’ and Butt’s precise shooting, we lost the quarter 11-22 putting us in a challenging position to try and redeem ourselves.

We knew we had to come out fighting for the second quarter to narrow down the score line and attempt to take a lead. Changes were made with Fisher moving to GD and Jada Cooke taking the GK bib. As soon as Cooke took to court, she stepped up to the job, turning over ball from long feeds enforced by Brathwaite-Scott’s solid arms over. The speed from Baylis in C allowed for quick 1-2 plays with Durand to get circle edge past a tough defence. Burgess’ robust holds and Butt’s quality shooting meant Mavericks were able to win this quarter 15-14, gradually grinding down on Lightning’s overall win of 36-26 at half time.

The third quarter began with Jasmine Nightingale coming on as C and saw Booth moving back to GD and Baylis as WA. Nightingale brought speed and agility to the court as she worked alongside Baylis to smoothly dodge past the opposing defenders and made her way down the court. On the opposite side of the court our defence double act of Booth and Cooke dominated the circle as they shut down shooting opportunities making the attackers’ jobs difficult. An immense pressure from Brathwaite-Scott, who tightly marked her WA, made it incredibly difficult for Lightning to drive through court and reach circle edge. In return for their hard work, the shooting pair- Burgess and Butt- continued shooting effortlessly with us finalising the quarter with another win of 16-15, leaving the overall score 51-42.

After winning the previous two quarters, we knew we had to continue to work hard in order to recover an overall win. The only change made during the break was switching Fisher back into GD and, at the end of the quarter, Charlotte Jennings-Evans took to court as GS. Mavericks remained relentless throughout the final 15 minutes with turnovers being made and endless goals being scored. Unfortunately, due to unforced errors and mistakes on our behalf, Lightning were gaining back their lead for this quarter. Despite battling to the very last whistle, Loughborough Lightning managed to take the win of 66-53 home. Although it wasn’t the result we wanted, we cannot be too disheartened by our performance as we came out every quarter ready to battle hard. 

Players Player of the Match - Jada Cooke

Coaches Player of the Match - Jada Brathwaite-Scott

Written by Katie Fisher U19s Vice Captain