Off the back of a disappointing performance against a hungry Severn Stars side last week in Worcester, benecosMavericks were back home at the HSV and were keen to right the wrongs from the previous week and put on a show for their home fans. The opposition, Celtic Dragons, a Welsh side who had returned as a squad from the recent Commonwealth Games.
Starting with Bailey, Travis, Corbin, Marshall, Everitt, Keable & Quashie, benecosMavericks failed to score off their first centre pass and it was Celtic Dragons who got the first 2 goals on the board. Incredible skill and control showed by Marshall at C to keep a ball in play, meant it gave shooting guru Bailey her first chance at goal, which she nailed.
benecosMavericks went into the first break 16 – 8 up, but there was still plenty more in the locker for the home side and Ratnapala wanted to continue to build the momentum and build on the relationships out on court.
The second quarter saw no changes, as Ratnapala urged more from the squad. The combination of Keable and Quashie in the defensive end, with Everitt and Marshall out in front, gave benecosMavericks the much-needed turnover in this quarter.
A time out for Dragons, brought McCollin onto court replacing Travis and McCollin quickly found the connection with Bailey, with some excellent placement and touch on her feed and precision shooting.
The score line was up by 19 at half time, 35 – 14, with the quarter score 19 – 6.
Significant changes were made for Q3 with Drayne entering at WD, Everitt moving to GD, Keable moving to GK and Quashie taking to bench. Thanks to excellent defensive pressure and structure from Drayne and Marshall, benecosMavericks continued to turn the screw and gave their shooters even more opportunity to goal. Drakeford entered the game at WA replacing Captain Corbin. benecosMavericks taking this quarter 17 – 8 and moving the score line to 52 – 22.
The big lead going into the final quarter ensured all 12 players were used with Wells into GA, McCollin to bench and Artman onto GK, Keable back to GD and Everitt moving to bench. With this quarter going more goal for goal, mid-way through, Wells called time for an injury and McCollin entered back at GS and Bailey moving out to GA. Winning this quarter 16 – 14, benecosMavericks took the overall win 68 – 36.
Ratnapala said “It was a confident display tonight, we still need to start the games better but coming off the first half 35-14 up was good. Bailey was on fire tonight and made impact in both GS & GA which is important for the squad. Special mention to Keable, Quashie & Marshall as well, who all had strong performances. Great to have a strong squad performance following a disappointing day at the office against Stars, we know what this squad is capable of and it’s important that we deliver when the pressure is on our shoulders as well as when we have the momentum. Huge thanks to all our fans, volunteers and my team behind the squad for making our home games so special. Looking forward to another home game next weekend against Northumbria.”