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Mavericks misfire in defeat to Thunder

19th March 2019

Saracens Mavericks fell to a rare defeat on Saturday evening as Manchester Thunder capitalised on Mavericks mistakes to take a 57-49 victory.

Another sold-out crowd packed into the Hertfordshire Sports Village to witness an all-action clash between two sides fighting it out for a place at the top of the Vitality Netball Superleague table.

With Gabby Marshall missing out on a chance to face her former side due to injury, Michelle Drayne, Georgia Lees and Sasha Corbin made up the hosts’ mid-court.

It was a fantastic, frenetic start to proceedings and the home side had the crowd on their feet with wonderful through court-movement, capitalising on turnover ball created by the ever-reliable defensive duo of Razia Quashie and Jo Trip.

An early lead was increased after Lees expertly recycled the ball before patiently feeding Kadeen Corbin to finish off another smooth attack.

The visitors battled back valiantly and only the quarter time whistle halted their momentum as Mavericks edged the opening quarter 16-15.

Another strong start saw Mavericks pull three goals clear but once again the away side hit back with Joyce Mvula in fine form at the attacking end.

With Thunder attacking well, only excellent defensive pressure stopped them from romping ahead. Drayne, Trip and Quashie marshalled the final third with precision, forcing tips and held ball galore.

Despite this wonderful work, Thunder had moved into a narrow two goal lead, 28-30 at the half-time interval.

Once more these two titans refused to be separated at the start of the second half as a rejuvenated Mavericks hit back to level at 34-34.

The tension on court now started to show with a couple of mis-placed passes and handling errors costing the hosts dearly.

Steph Collard was introduced at WD as the home side looked to their bench to half the Thunder charge. However, a dominant end to the third quarter saw the travelling side move 38-45 clear.

The original starting seven took to the court for final fifteen minutes as the capacity crowd roared on their heroes in purple and black, hoping to inspire an incredible comeback.

An early change saw Karyn Bailey replace Corbin in the shooting circle and once again good defensive work had Mavericks back in the game as they reduced the gap to six.

More turnover ball followed but Mavericks were struggling to take it through to goal. A determined and high-flying Kerry Almond was now impressing in the Thunder defence as they effectively shut-out Mavericks to draw the quarter and take the win by eight goals.

Mavericks will reflect on what could have been. The amount of turnover ball was encouraging and there were moments of exceptional transition play.

A tough Thunder side deserved the win on the day, but Mavericks will learn from the experience as they continue to battle for a place in the Superleague semi-finals

Mavericks head coach, Kat Ratnapala said after the game "I'm disappointed to throw away the lead that we worked hard to obtain in the first and second quarter. Unforced errors meant we allowed Thunder back into the game and you can't give a quality side such as Thunder additional opportunities to goal. Saracens Mavericks are made of stronger stuff than this and we are hitting the training court hard this week to deliver a performance to be proud of next weekend vs Storm"

Mavericks are next in action on Saturday 23 March when they face a local derby against Surrey Storm at HSV. This is another sold out match so make sure you grab your tickets for our last 3 home matches here.

Main Photo Credit: Clive Jones PR

Player of the Match: Razia Quashie

 

 

SHOOTING STATS:
Fisher: 30/32 - 94%

Corbin: 13/16 - 81%

Bailey: 6/7 - 89%