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Saracens Mavericks take heartbeat out of Pulse

28th February 2019

A sell-out Hertfordshire Sports Village was on hand to witness Saracens Mavericks secure an emphatic 65-37 victory over Superleague’s new team from the capital, London Pulse.

With Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ama Agbeze missing for the away side, Pulse fielded a younger defensive line-up and Mavericks took full advantage.

The two sides went goal for goal in the first half of the opening quarter in a low scoring start to the match.

Agbeze’s gold medal winning teammate Kadeen Corbin eventually set the tone for the home side, rewarding their defence’s fantastic array of turnovers, by spurring Mavericks into a five goal run which saw them take a 15-10 lead at the end of Q1.

The second quarter started in the same fashion with end to end action. However, more whistle had opposing centres Gabby Marshall and former Maverick Rose Long (nee Morgan-Smith) doing shuttles reminiscent of the bleep test.

Sasha Corbin made the move from C to WA, with Georgia Lees making way, and instantly had an impact in controlling the centre pass line and upping the assists to goal for her sister and George Fisher.

The shooting duo finished the quarter on a with an impressive 94% conversion rate as the hosts pulled ahead 32-23 at half-time.

Q3 saw a little more action from the Mavericks defence with Michelle Drayne at WD, Lindsay Keable entering at GD and Razia Quashie at GK.

Keable, using the advantage of her 6’4” stature, was blocking shots like daylight in front of Pulse’s Kira Rothwell under the post which helped to extend the lead out to 13.

Drayne, again relentless in her hassling of the Pulse WA, forced the away side into a string of errors as the black and purple defence catapulted Mavericks into a 47-31 advantage heading into the final fifteen minutes.

Final quarter changes saw Steph Collard enter at GD and Keable switch to GK. The duo worked nicely to create pressure, with Keable coming out with squeaky clean intercepts and rebounding more than a bouncy ball on a trampoline.

The closing stages of the quarter saw Karyn Bailey enter the game at GS and U21 captain Paige McCalla make her debut to a wonderful crowd reception, becoming the clubs player no.#90 in the process.

Showing no fear, the youngster produced several great touches on the ball and slotted home all three shots she took at goal.

A final quarter score of 18-6 capped a brilliant display as Mavericks tightened their grip on a top four place in front of an appreciative home crowd.

Mavericks head coach Kat Ratnapala said after the game: “I’m asking more and more of the players, I feel like a real demanding taskmaster, but it’s where we need to be if we want to be competing for those top four spaces.”

“Even though Pulse are bottom of the league table it doesn’t really matter. Every game is a tough battle and that’s what I told the players at the beginning of the game. It was important for us to go out and deliver tonight, under the expectations and keep building the momentum.

She added, “To get all 12 players out on court and to keep Pulse down to 37 goals was another step forward for us.”

Next up for Mavericks is an away trip to Severn Stars on Monday 4th March. They are back at HSV in a clash against Manchester Thunder on Saturday 16 March. Limited tickets are still available via our website here: TICKETS.

Player of the Match - Kadeen Corbin

SHOOTING STATS:

Fisher: 30/33 - 91%
Corbin: 24/27 - 89%
Bailey: 8/11 - 73%
McCalla: 3/3 - 100%