Wasps Netball extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 66-52 win at Essex University, home of previously unbeaten benecosMavericks.
The black-and-golds’ fourth successive Vitality Netball Superleague win leaves them at the top of the table ahead of Manchester Thunder and Team Bath, who are also still protecting unblemished league records.
Wasps’ netball director Tamsin Greenway praised the work of her shooters and also noted the positive impact made by the squad’s togetherness.
“It was a really solid performance. I’m really proud of the effort the girls put in out there tonight,” Greenway said.
“We knew this game was going to be tough but we started well and kept it going. The big lead at half-time gave us a chance to try some more combinations again too.
“Mavericks will be there in the Final Four at the end of the season. You could see the real talent they have – on the attacking end they were rapid and that is something we will have to prepare for when we next play them.
“The vibe in our team is very good at the moment, there is a lot of confidence and we’re just focusing on us. The combination of Rachel Dunn and George Fisher is absolutely fantastic, they are looking out for each other and it is really helping us.
“It’s always a building process, but we have a way we want to play and make sure we stick to task. This win was another step in the right direction.”
Mavericks scored the game’s first goal through Kalifa McCollin, but the lead didn’t last long, with Wasps’ veteran shooter Dunn immediately answering back.
The attacking duo of Fisher and Dunn proved effective for the visitors, with the pair controlling the Mavericks circle and helping Wasps build an early five-goal lead.
Wasps Jade Clarke and her direct opponent and England colleague Gabby Marshall engaged in a good battle in the centre of the court throughout the first half.
The away team pressed hard all over the court in the second quarter and it proved a successful tactic which extended their interval advantage to 12.
Patience was the key at the start of the third quarter for Wasps, who worked the ball well into the attacking circle to give Fisher and Dunn open opportunities.
Mavericks showed flashes of defensive excellence including an eye-catching intercept from Razia Quashie. As a result they threatened to get back into game, but the defending champions showed good composure to quickly re-assert their authority.
Sophia Candappa was introduced for the final quarter and worked well from wing attack to feed the shooters and guide the visitors to a 52-66 win.
Wasps’ next home fixture sees them face Team Northumbria on Saturday, March 10 (7.00pm centre-pass) – following an away trip to Loughborough Lightning on Saturday evening.
Tickets for Wasps Netball vs Team Northumbria on March 10 are available from from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets.