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Mavericks ride out the Storm to clinch comeback win

26th March 2019

Saracens Mavericks staged a pulsating fightback to overturn a five-goal half-time deficit and return to winning ways with a vital 58-50 victory over Surrey Storm on Saturday night.

The win returned Mavericks back to second place in the Vitality Netball Superleague table, with only goal difference separating the sides from second to fifth.

With semi-final positions in the balance, Mavericks couldn’t afford to be drowned by the Storm.

In their penultimate game at HSV this season, the hosts gave another capacity crowd a thrilling start to proceedings.

Nothing could separate the two teams in the opening quarter as the old foes battled goal for goal. A strong finish to Q1 had the visitors in front by two with shooters Sigi Burger and Yaz Hodge-England sitting on an impressive 100% shooting percentage and a 15-17 lead.

A game of hot potato broke out in the second quarter after Kadeen Corbin’s magical intercept only led to a steady stream of errors, neither side seemingly wanting to take control of the action.

At WD for Storm, Shadine Van Der Merwe was having a sensational game. A number of intercepts and tips halted the Mavericks attacking flow.

Sasha Corbin and Georgia Lees were fighting doggedly for possession but loose play through court resulted in turnover ball and missed opportunities.

England defender Razia Quashie came to life in the back end of the quarter, turning over fantastic one on one ball, but again Mavericks failed to reward the hard work and went into the half-time break trailing 26-31.

For Q3 the changes were rung with Mavericks injecting the cool head of Karyn Bailey at GS and Lindsay Keable at GD.

Jo Trip moved across to WD and took an intercept within the first five seconds, the ball transitioned through the attack to Bailey in the circle and, with immediate effect there was an air of calm in the Mavericks camp.

George Fisher, now in at GA, showed her true class and leadership as she fed ball with grace to her counterpart Bailey as well as sinking an impressive 11 from 11 in the third quarter to drag the home side back into the contest.

The experience and height of Keable and Quashie started to create problems for the Storm attack, limiting them to just nine goals in the quarter. This was supported by the relentless work of Michelle Drayne and Trip in front, creating a host of ball winning opportunities.

An incredible run from Mavericks had the crowd bouncing as they roared back with an impressive 18-9 quarter score to snatch a 44-40 lead.

With the momentum firmly in Mavericks corner, the team was unchanged for the final quarter.

A gear change in the Mavericks defence saw the trio of Drayne, Trip and Keable lock down the centre pass line like night club security, they had trainers on and therefore they weren’t coming in!

This allowed Fisher to take advantage of the hard work and an early intercept for the shooter was indicative of the dominance the team in purple and black were finding.

The composure and stamina of Drayne, combined with her endless availability, helped secure the win for Mavericks and the Player of the Match award for herself.

Kat Ratnapala said post-match: “Today Storm had returning South African players, who were unavailable in the first time we played them, so we knew we needed to deliver a strong performance to take the points.

“We started off really slow and hesitant with the ball but definitely grew into the game and with a powerful 3rd quarter of 18-9, I'm pleased that we showed ourselves that we can come from behind and right some wrongs in quarters and when it matters."

Saracens Mavericks are next in action in a crucial clash against Loughborough Lightning this Saturday.

The next home fixture will be the showcase fixture against 2018 Superleague Champions Wasps at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Tickets for this match are available to buy here.

Player of the Match : Michelle Drayne

Main Photo Credit : Steve Porter


Fisher: 34/38 - 89%

Corbin: 7/10 - 70%

Bailey: 17/18 - 94%