benecosMavericks were sitting in 3rd place before the clash vs Team Bath and needed to come back strongly following their defeat to Loughborough Lightning the previous weekend (41 – 54).
Arriving at the amazing Copperbox arena, the Mavericks family were ready to take on a full strength Bath side and were looking forward to the game. Starting with Bailey, McCollin, Corbin, Marshall, Everitt, Keable & Quashie, Coach Ratnapala knew this would be a physically tough and mental battle and it was important that the squad stuck to task and put into practice what they had gone through in training the week leading up to the game.
benecosMavericks capitalised on a few early errors from Bath, going up 9-3 in the first 10 minutes of the game, however Bath’s experienced, being led by Beckford-Chambers at GK, a gold medal winner, wasn’t prepared to lay down and take defeat and Bath fought back hard to make it 13-7 at the end of the first quarter.
With no changes to quarter 2, Ratnapala asked for more, better connections, more availability and more turnovers and the squad reacted. Taking 87% of their centre pass possession to goal, benecosMavericks put up 22 shots in this quarter with fine delivery from Marshall & Corbin to the shooting combination of Bailey & McCollin. Bailey was on fine form, showing her world class experience and strength against a strong Bath defensive circle.
At half time, benecosMavericks had extended their lead to 32 – 18 and knew that this game wasn’t over. With no changes going into quarter 3, Keable & Quashie worked tirelessly, staying connected at the back and creating turnover opportunities for the team. A few lapses in concentration meant a change was needed and Travis entered into GA with McCollin taking the bench. Travis entered the game well, using the middle of the court to split the defenders and created space in the attacking end. Winning this quarter 14-12, it meant benecosMavericks were 16 goals up going into the final quarter.
With no changes to the line up, Ratnapala and her coaching team told the players to finish the game off. With again some lapses in concentration, McCollin re-entered at GA and immediately connected again with Bailey. With the final quarter score ending 11-11, full time score 57 – 41, it meant benecosMavericks took the points from the fixture and are sitting 2nd in the league tables behind Wasps Netball.
Ratnapala said “That was a true squad effort tonight, we’ve had some better connections in training this week and I was excited to see what we could produce out here tonight. I think it’s the connections that won us the game, we were all on the same page, understood what their roles were and for longer periods of the game nailed it. It wasn’t the perfect game but it’s a step in the right direction and we need to keep on building to continue to take that all important top 4 place.”
benecosMavericks are away to Surrey Storm for their next fixture on Saturday 5th May.
PoTM for Sky & benecosMavericks – Karyn Bailey
Karyn Bailey – 49/54 = 91%
Kalifa McCollin – 8/12 = 67%
PoTM Flowers – Welwyn Florists
Photo Credit – Mark Pritchard Photography