After an exciting home game at the Copperbox the previous week against Bath, this week benecosMavericks travelled to Guildford to play Surrey Storm. It was important to back up the performance and ensure the squad continued to build towards a top four place in the league.
Starting with Bailey, McCollin, Corbin, Marshall, Everitt (playing on her 18th birthday), Keable & Quashie, the squad went off to a racing start of going 4-1 up in the first 5 minutes, penalising Storm’s errors and capitalising on fantastic through court, precision passing & composure from Bailey & McCollin in the shooting circle. However, Storm were able to break back with 3 consecutive goals unanswered by Mavericks and quickly caught up, 5 – 4. Quashie, Keable, Everitt & Marshall worked hard to deny the shooting opportunities for Storm, limiting them to 14 in the first quarter and Keable gaining possession on the rebounds from the 2 missed shots. Marshall & Corbin also delivered fantastic balls into the shooters giving them 20 opportunities in the first quarter. Finishing the quarter up 16-12, it was a good start and Ratnapala saw the need to continue the pressure and asked more from the starting 7.
With no changes going into the 2nd quarter, Mavericks took a 4-goal unanswered run, thanks to a team defence and attack to work the ball to goal, showing fantastic patience and calm heads, Mavericks increased their lead to 21-13, however once again Storm tried to stage a comeback with their own 3 goal run. McCollin stepping up her game in quarter 2 and taking 8 goals from 9 opportunities, in an extremely physically contesting battle in the shooting circle.
Finishing that quarter 14 – 10. Mavericks went into half time with an 8-goal lead, 30 – 22.
Quarter 3 saw Storm pile on the pressure, with a couple of 3 goal runs on the bounce, which Mavericks then answered straight away, it meant it was a closer encounter and changes needed to be made. Excellent shooting from Bailey at 100% 11 from 11 attempts and a change in at GA with Travis entering and McCollin taking to the bench. Storm won this quarter 13 – 14, it was getting very physical out on court and the squad needed to regroup again to regain focus and composure for the final quarter.
No changes in the final quarter for the squad and a last big effort to finish off this game and take the win against regular rivals Storm at their home ground. Mavericks took the earlier lead in this quarter, getting 3 unanswered goals in quick succession. Drayne entered the match at WD with Keable pushing back to GK and Everitt to GD and Wells replaced Travis at GA. Both Drayne and Wells entered the game quickly and immediately made an impact, meaning Mavericks continued to build their lead to 11 goals. Collard entered at GD with another time out for birthday girl Everitt and Beth Ecuyer-Dale (a student at University of Hertfordshire) replaced Marshall at C for her first Mavericks cap, making her player #86 for the Mavericks Family.
Winning this quarter 13 – 7, Mavericks took the win 56 – 43.
Ratnapala said “That definitely didn’t feel pretty out there tonight, Storm were extremely physical in their defensive end and the runs of 3 or 4 goals didn’t feel like it was ever easy. It’s great to get all 12 players out there this evening, everyone has been training hard and selection is getting harder each week as everyone is stepping up and delivering, which is absolutely where we need to be as a squad. I was really impressed with our composure tonight and ability to work our live turnover through to goal, the connections between the squad is growing with each game and it’s important that we keep on building through these rounds to make it into the top 4 to make play offs.”
Special mention to Beth Ecuyer-Dale, who stepped up this evening to gain her first cap for Mavericks, Beth is a player who I have enjoyed working with for the past 2 seasons, she is like a sponge soaking everything up and massively took her opportunity to play against Storm this evening, she is having a great season and I’m excited to continue to work with her in the future. Special mention also to Karyn Bailey, scoring 93% at this level is fantastic and working with 3 very different GA’s. PoTM was a really tough one as once again all players delivered, and it was a full team effort to drive home the win but went to Razia Quashie, who along with defensive unit efforts, denied their shooting opportunities to 7 per quarter and picked up a large amount of turnover.”
PoTM Razia Quashie
Bailey 38 / 41 – 93%
McCollin 14 / 20 70%
Travis 3 / 4 75%
Wells 1 / 2 50%
Photo Credit: Steve Porter Pictures