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Mavericks run champions close in narrow defeat

13th February 2019

The game, Wasps vs Saracens. The sport.....Netball.

Monday night’s fixture marked the first historic encounter between these two giant clubs that was to be played away from the rugby field and instead on the netball court!

In the end it was a contest befitting of the great rivalry between the clubs as Wasps held off a tenacious Mavericks to claim a hard fought 54-50 win.

Saracens Mavericks travelled to the Ricoh Arena for Round 5 to face the two time reigning champions in a game that would decide who would go joint-top of the table with the unbeaten Manchester Thunder.

The first-half saw incredible pressure from Mavericks circle defenders Razia Quashie and Jo Trip, who were able to tame the usually free scoring Rachel Dunn.

Held ball and hotly contested interceptions provided the chance for Mavericks’ Georgia Lees and Sasha Corbin to transition slick ball through to Kadeen Corbin and George Fisher.

The visitors were able to get ahead by four approaching half-time, but a miscommunicated pass from Corbin to Fisher under the post coupled with a Mavericks footwork call, gave Wasps the advantage to see out the quarter and go into the interval level at 27-27.

Both head coaches rang the changes going into the third quarter with Kat Ratnapala giving Lindsay Keable the nod at GD, seeing Jo trip shift across to WD, Michelle Drayne to C and Corbin to WA.

However, it was the home team who seemed to settle into their changes quicker, bursting out of the blocks with a four-goal run.

Wasps introduced Sophia Candappa, who went on to be named Sky Sport Player of the Match, to WA and it paid off for them as they opened up their attack end to Mavericks’ frustration. A dominant quarter saw them double their shooting opportunities and grab a 43-36 lead.

Still within touching distance but needing a response, Ratnapala made changes in an attempt to salvage the game. Lees re-entered at WA, Trip came into GD and for the first time in three weeks following injury, Gabby Marshall donned the black and purple dress to take over at C

Recognising the incredible challenge that they faced, Wasps tightened their defensive line and made things difficult for Mavericks to penetrate the attacking end.

Patient build-up play and better use of the ball saw Mavericks pull the score back to within four. Despite a spirited performance, Saracens Mavericks run-out of time as Wasps professionally saw out the game to record their fourth win in-a-row

After the game, Ratnapala reflected: “It was disappointing to lose but four goals against the top team is nothing, so we’ll take that and we will move on."

“I was pleased with patches but there are some inconsistencies that we need to focus in on. But it was a good performance heading into Bath this weekend at the University of Essex which we can’t wait for.”

Mavericks return to Vitality Netball Superleague action against Team Bath on Saturday 16 February at the University of Essex, Colchester. Centre-pass is at 6pm and tickets for this top four clash are available here.


POTM: Razia Quashie 

Shooting Stats:

Fisher: 37/43 - 86%

Corbin: 13/16 - 81%

Match Photo Credit: Tara Jones