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Spectacular third quarter sees Mavericks put Dragons to the sword

9th February 2019

Saracens Mavericks travelled west to secure victory in a round 4 rumble in the Dragons jungle with a 66-44 success.

The win in Wales has seen Mavericks go joint-top of the table, sitting in third place only due to goal average.

Mavericks got off to a flying start with five unanswered goals, the visiting side wanting to lay down a marker and stamp their early authority on the game. The hosts, well-known for their ‘never die’ attitude, immediately pushed back and looked to reassert the sort of control you would expect from the home side. With balls being contested throughout court, it was the Mavericks attack that started to twist and turn, finding pockets of space for George Fisher and Kadeen Corbin. Although Dragons route to goal was not as silky smooth, they pushed through and finished the quarter just one goal behind, 16-15.

Both teams left their 7 untouched for the second quarter and with neither a pass or a play being able to separate the two, they went goal for goal for the next ten minutes. With half-time approaching a Dragons fumble saw possession changes hands. Stacian Facey, in her desperation to win the ball back for her team, succeeded only in a Corbin take down that wouldn’t have looked out of place in last week’s Super Bowl. Not to be deterred, the Roses shooter shook it off and continued to dazzle the court with her excellent attacking play. The away team rang the changes for the final five minutes of the half, bringing fresh legs into the centre position with Michelle Drayne moving from WD to C and Jo Trip entering the game at WD. The replacements quickly fell into a groove with the duo of Lindsay Keable and Razia Quashie making use of the work in front of them by turning over much needed ball. It paid dividends with Mavericks ending the quarter by pulling into a five-goal lead, 30-25.

With no half-time changes, the same Mavericks seven were tasked with closing out the game. The flair and precision of Corbin, the accuracy of Georgia Lees and Fisher, and the work rate of Drayne started to dominate. Errors crept into the Dragons game and the team in black and purple were quick to punish, stretching the lead to 10 goals after just three minutes of Q3. A change to the Dragons C saw Clare Elsey enter the game, hoping her experience would help to make an impact. However, Mavericks’ foot was firmly on the throttle and they impressed to see out the quarter 19-9, an overall lead of 49-34.

The last 15 minutes left Dragons with a mountain to climb, but with a combined shooting accuracy of 90%, Fisher and Corbin were making it impossible for the home side to see the peak. Mavericks ended strong with the late entry of Beth Ecuyer Dale and Steph Collard, finishing off the game in convincing fashion. Head Coach Kat Ratnapala said after the game “We’ll take that win. It was a hard slog for the first-half, but we came out firing in the 3rd quarter to right a few wrongs. “The Stand out performances were from Kadeen Corbin and George Fisher, with great shooting stats and brilliant presence on court. All in all, it was a good performance but now we have some work to do in preparations for our game against Wasps, which we’re ready for”.


POTM: George Fisher 


SHOOTING STATS:

Fisher 45/51 - 88%

Corbin 21/22 - 95%