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Wasps’ Mansfield: “They did themselves proud”

Wasps Netball secured a clean sweep in a pre-season Tri Tournament as they continue their preparations for the upcoming Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.

It marked the first time Mel Mansfield had led her team as Head Coach at the Ricoh Arena, overcoming London Pulse and Team Bath in a packed afternoon of netball.

The tournament saw the debut of new side London Pulse, with the new season getting underway in January 2019.

Mansfield was particularly impressed with the performance of her young players in their first appearance at the Ricoh.

“It was really good run out for us. I was particularly pleased with how we performed against Bath – we really stepped it up a gear,” said Mansfield.

“We were able to get some of our young players some good court time too, which is great experience for them. They did themselves proud against strong opposition.

“Defensively we were just brilliant, but this is by no means the finished product yet. It was good to be able to work out what our priorities need to be before our first fixture in January.

“Fran Williams played at Wing Defence, which was new for her, but I think she did really well. She is turning into an important, senior player for us.

“It was good to be back out at the Ricoh Arena too. The atmosphere was great and was the perfect opportunity for our new signings to get a taste of what playing in front of our home crowd is like.”

Wasps started the afternoon with their encounter against London Pulse.

The black-and-gold’s enjoyed a fast start, rushing out to an early three goal advantage and securing a six goal lead by the end of the first quarter.

A duo of flying intercepts, from Hannah Knights and Amy Flanagan, set the tone for the second quarter, as Wasps built a double-digit lead.

Mansfield’s side continued to shine in the second half, building a big lead to run out eventual 41-26 winners.

In the afternoon’s second fixture, Team Bath met London Pulse. Pulse again struggled to get into their rhythm as Bath took the lead early.

By half-time the game was all but decided, with Bath leading 27-13. The impressive display from Bath continued in the final two quarters, winning 44-29.

The final game of the afternoon saw a rematch of last season’s Vitality Netball Superleague semi-final with Wasps against Team Bath.

Bath took the lead early, but were pegged back by sharpshooter Rachel Dunn. It was end-to-end throughout the first quarter, with Wasps edging it 9-6.

The visitors fought back and by half-time had reduced the deficit to just one goal. Wasps took control after the break, with two quick-fire goals giving them the momentum.

The home side had built a ten goal lead mid-way through the final quarter. Bath attempted to mount a comeback, but the home side stood strong, winning 36-28.

Wasps Netball season tickets are now general sale for the Vitality Netball Superleague 2019 season. To find out more visit https://www.waspsnetball.co.uk/season-membership

Tickets are now on sale for Super 10 – get your squad together and head to the season opener on Saturday 5th January 2019 at Arena Birmingham!