On Monday Mavericks played their first home game of the 2018 Vitality Netball Suplerleague season. Coming on the back of a win vs Celtic Dragons away in Wales last week, this was the first opportunity to showcase the new squad to the home fans at the University of Hertfordshire vs local rivals Surrey Storm.
benecosMavericks started with Artman (GK) & vice captain Keable (GD) in the defensive circle, with Marshall (C) & captain Corbin (WA) in mid court and McCollin (GA), Bailey (GS) two import players from Trinidad & Tobago & Australia, in the shooting circle.
Mavericks instantly got off to a good start with Lindsay Keable intercepting Storm’s first centre and Mavericks taking the first goal. Momentum was with the team with them converting 8 out of their 12 centre passes to goal and turning over the ball 10 times, taking an early lead and getting a 5 goal run on their opposition, to make the quarter scoreline 15-10. With both shooters finding form, Bailey scoring 9/9 and McCollin scoring 6/7.
The 2nd quarter looked to be a great start, extending their lead to 10 at one point but a resilient Storm weren’t prepared to lay down just yet, some sloppy play by Mavericks allowed them back in the game and the quarter was won by 1 goal, making the scoreline 31-25 at half time.
3rd quarter saw the entry of Razia Quashie into GK and Artman to the bench, although despite the defensive units best efforts of turning over the ball, benecosMavericks couldn’t convert their possession and Storm ended up closing the gap and winning that quarter by 2, making the overall scoreline 43 – 39.
With Mavericks holding onto a four goal lead going into the final quarter, Drayne entered into WA, Corbin to C and Marshall to the bench. It was highly contested and both teams were fighting to maintain possessions at times to take the upper hand but again some costly unforced errors by Mavericks allowed Storm to take advantage. With 14 seconds to go the scores were tied with Storm on centre pass. They won victory of this quarter by 4, making a tie at the end of full time and taking the game into agonising extra time.
Seven minutes each way seemed to be the longest time on the clock, however Keable got the crowd going, throwing her arms above her head into a slow clap and leading the Crowd in the ‘Let’s Go Mavericks’ chant. The atmosphere in the sportshall was electric and the 800 capacity arena got behind the Mavericks squad and gave them the extra push they needed, despite going 2 goals down in the initial stages, Mavericks were then able to turn over the ball and with high work rate and patience from Drayne & Corbin, plus keeping calm under pressure Bailey & McCollin sunk some distance shots with ease. Mavericks managed to take hold of the momentum and win the game by 2!
Kat Ratnapala, Head Coach & Director of Netball of benecosMavericks added “We are really pleased to take the points from today’s match, it was a tough battle out there & I’m pleased that the players found it in them to dig deep & come away with the win. The crowd were fantastic tonight & gave us the added push to take us over the line. This is our 2nd game and 2nd win of the season & with new combinations, we have taken a while to settle to but this is an exciting group & I’m excited where we’re going as a squad.”
benecosMavericks now going into a double header weekend with their first home matches at University of Essex facing Severn Stars on Saturday and last years champions Wasps on Monday. Tickets can still be purchased – https://www.mavericksnetball.co.uk/tickets/buy-match-tickets/
Bailey 39/43 91%
McCollin 25/28 89%
PoTM – Sasha Corbin (Captain)