Saracens Mavericks faced a new look Surrey Storm team Saturday evening in one of London’s favourite local derbies.
Kat Ratnapala’s team were determined to grab their first league win of the season and before the game the Director of Netball said: “Following the performance against Manchester Thunder last week, we need to ensure we continue to work on the relationships and connections as units on court.
“Everyone has been working hard in training, albeit with a few players missing due to international commitments and training. We’re looking for a performance to be proud of.”
Georgia Lees and Jo Trip were returning to familiar territory to face their old side, with Trip making no mistake in showing her new loyalties by winning the first interception of the game.
A scrappy first quarter saw low scoring opportunities from both teams but with the Storm shooting partnership of Rhea Dixon and Laura Morton struggling to find the net, Saracens Mavericks finished the quarter with an 11-7 lead.
As the partnership of Trip and Lindsay Keable continued to strengthen, there was a personnel change in front of them with Gabby Marshall moving from C to WD, Sasha Corbin from WA to C and Lees entering the game at WA.
The defensive change had immediate effect. The incredible pressure across the court forced Storm in to taking 11 passes just to set up their next shot!
At the other end, the attack was keeping to their end of the bargain with Kadeen Corbin and George Fisher sitting on 96% shooting accuracy to take Mavericks into half-time with a 25-17 advantage.
The second half saw the continuation of body on body contesting, but when Mavericks were able to find the space, they outclassed their opponents with some ‘hot knife through butter’ attacking.
Steph Collard entered the game at GD with just under five minutes left in the quarter, taking her opportunity with two excellent intercepts for her side.
Danielle McFarlane made her season debut at WD for the final 15, contributing to a slicker ‘through court’ attack for the travelling Saracens Mavericks side.
The win was firmly in the bag with a much more pleasing 4th quarter, connections were flowing, and the speed and smarts of Corbin, Lees, Corbin and Fisher was too much for the Storm defence to handle, they finished the quarter 18-11, with the final scoreboard sitting on 59-39.
Head Coach Ratnapala said “To finish the game 20 goals up and still feel disappointed shows the professionalism and distance I believe we can go in this league.
“Once again there were patches of brilliance from my squad, followed by disappointments and we will be continuing to work hard to right the wrongs for our next game vs Loughborough, our first home game of the season at University of Hertfordshire Sports Village.
“Special mentions to George Fisher and Kadeen Corbin for their high shooting stats and Lindsay Keable who was awarded the Player of the Match award.”