13th April 2017
Hertfordshire Mavericks started their U21 campaign off with a home game at the University of Hertfordshire with an impressive 52 - 42 win over an experienced Severn Stars squad at the weekend.
Starting 7 - Phoebe Parker, Ellie Kelk, Phoebe Cadogan, Beth Ecuyer-Dale, Jasmin Odeogberin, Ellie Rattu, Hali Adio
The youthful Mavericks squad, had a slightly nervous start against the opposition, losing their first centre pass and going 0 - 3 down in the first couple of minutes. Mavericks quickly regrouped, with their attacking unit finding form, with some excellent leadership by University of Hertfordshire's student Ellie Kelk and 100% shooter from Parker. The defensive pressure was evident however with the squad just converting 5 out of 14 turnovers, there was definitely more that this starting 7 had to give.
The first quarter ended 12-10 but with clear instruction from the bench, the squad went into the 2nd quarter with new found confidence and assertiveness in their play. The squad had some excellent patience and communication, ensuring they stretched their lead to 5 at half time, however found it difficult to stretch their lead further.
With Wheeler entering onto the court at C and Rothwell entering at GA, they quickly made their impact on the game, with Kira netting her first attempt with ease. Pressure from Adio, Rattu, Odeogberin and Wheeler was evident and the turnovers kept coming for the home side, which were quickly taken to goal. Winning this quarter 15 - 8, Mavericks were gaining confidence in themselves and their team matches, Cadogan was finding space in the attacking third with ease, being available for 1st & 2nd phase and feeding the circle with precision passes.
Going into the final quarter, 41 - 29, Ratnapala knew this game was not over until the final whistle and it was important to have a strong finish. With changes at both end, Short entered at GK and Kelk re-entered at GS, Severn Stars came out fighting but Mavericks managed to net the first 4 goals in the quarter and finish off the game with their 1st win of the season.
Ratnapala said "I'm extremely proud of this squads performance today, there was some excellent individual and unit displays of netball and whilst we haven't had a huge amount of time together as a squad, the players were focused on our game plan and Mavericks style of play. I am excited to see this squad continue to grow and see the development through the season".
Mavericks POM - Phoebe Parker
Squad - Phoebe Parker, Ellie Kelk, Philippa Flemming, Kira Rothwell, Phoebe Cadogan, Lola Wheeler, Beth Ecuyer-Dale, Jasmin Odeogberin, Ellie Rattu, Natalya Short, Hali Adio
Mavericks U21 - next home game is Monday 17th April at HSV v Wasps, 16:30