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Camilla Buchanan wearing a face mask

Buchanan praised the way her side rose to the occasion

Saracens Mavericks assistant head coach Camilla Buchanan praised her team’s resilience following their 54-50 victory over Surrey Storm today.

Mavericks came from behind in the second quarter when Ine-Mari Venter stepped on court for the first time in front of a home crowd since injury in Round 7 of the Vitality Netball Superleague.

From that point forward, Mavericks kept their composure and secured the win in a tightly fought battle.

Buchanan said: “The players needed that. The whole group needed that, and what was really impressive about that group today was how much they learnt.

“We’re an emotionally led group and they rose to the occasion today.

“I can’t tell you how much they worked for each other today, that was really important for this group.

“The energy that they created was really important to keep us in the running for those top four spots.”

Storm dominated the opening section of the game and pulled ahead to a five-point lead at the beginning of the second quarter.

But Mavericks refused to give in and Venter’s appearance brought a second wind to the home team as they began to capitalise on mistakes from the Storm attackers and took the lead.

Mavericks are now level on points with Team Bath Netball but stay just outside of a fourth-place playoff spot on goal difference.

Buchanan said: “[Venter] changed the dynamics of the game.

“Our shooting opportunities went through the roof when she was on, you know she was really well classed in moments tonight.

“It was outstanding to get her back in front of a home crowd.

“They’ve just got so much passion this group, so when the lose they really feel it.

“When they win you can feel the energy throughout the whole stadium. It’s really magical.”

Surrey Storm’s head of performance Mikki Austen stressed that her team needs to keep their focus ahead of their last two games of the season.

The centre said: “It was a really good game. It was good to be in the contest but obviously it was disappointing to go from leading in the first quarter.

“Second quarter they defo threw us awash from our concentration and I think that showed.

“We’re down the back end of the season now so it isn’t about structures, this isn’t about not knowing what to do.

“We’ve got a very clear way of executing and when we do that we do it very well, it’s just about doing that over and over again.

“Occasionally we can just lapse concentration and against a team like Mavericks you can’t do that because they will punish you and they did that today so credit to them.”

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