Mavericks 51-58 Wasps
Second quarter sting sees Wasps beat MavericksAn incredible atmosphere at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes welcomed Saracens Mavericks and Wasps as they battled for the Mike Ho Trophy on Monday evening.
A formidable contest followed with the reigning champions taking a 58-51 victory over Mavericks after pulling away in a dominant second quarter.
The showcase setting was befitting of the occasion and both sets of supporters gathered to remember Mike and raise fund for Mind Charity in his name.
Wasps took the first centre pass and the visitors were made to work for their goal. An off-court pass, a missed shot, a circle turnover, a penalty and a tip were all on show before the away side eventually scored.
Mavericks answered with a smoother route to goal and Kadeen Corbin was first on the scoreboard in a good start for the home team.
The hosts forced the black and yellows into uncharacteristic errors that would see Mavericks make a much more comfortable start, going 5-1 ahead.
However, the reigning Superleague champions were never going to be beaten in the first few minutes and they quickly started knocking at Mavericks door.
A Fran Williams interception on Mavericks centre pass lifted Wasps mood into a two goal run and it was clear it was game on.
Lindsay Keable and Razia Quashie in Mavericks’ defensive circle worked well to upset Wasps’ flow and forced Katie Harris into missed shots and wayward passes. However, the away side did enough to be trailing by only one goal at the end of the first quarter, 13-12.
Both teams remained unchanged for the start of the second quarter, but it was the away side that started with the most composure.
Mavericks fell into sloppy decision making whilst the away sides shooting circle of Rachel Dunn and Harris started to find some form.
Mavericks mid court of Jo Trip, Sasha Corbin and Georgia Lees were working hard to connect and provide more opportunities for the shooting duo of K.Corbin & George Fisher.
Despite this, the pressure of their Wasps counterparts was ever increasing and with WD Amy Flanagan making cracking intercepts to lift her side, the struggle would continue.
Mavericks introduced the fresh legs of Michelle Drayne into Centre in the last five minutes of the quarter but Wasps had already dug their nails in to make enough of a dent, winning by nine goals and ending the quarter 23-31 in front.
Half time changes saw Sasha Corbin re-enter as Centre, Drayne switch to WD and Trip head into GD.
The defensive line begun to gel and in particular S.Corbin was impressing with architectural angles to shut down Wasp options and win ball.
Wasps however applied just as much defensive pressure and the quarter ended with the visitors retaining a good advantage, 36-43.
Mavericks had it all to play for in the final 15 and it couldn’t have meant more to captain S.Corbin, who was throwing it all on the line to try and pull back the deficit for her team.
A football style fall, which included the England Rose losing her trainer, only led to Wasps being rewarded with the ball.
Harris for Wasps proved to be a pain for the home side, finding drive after drive and landing underneath the post, but Mavericks would keep battling after reintroducing Keable back into the mix.
Lees and the Corbin sisters played with more feeding freedom in the last minutes of the game, finding Fisher’s acres of space, but unfortunately it was too little too late.
Sophie Hankin entered the court with just a few minutes remaining and impressed with her speed and intent, however the quarter ended 15 a-piece with the final score 51-58.
Saracens Mavericks had paid for their poor second quarter, with it being the only quarter that they lost.
Kat Ratnapala said “To win 2 quarters, draw the final quarter and lose by such a big margin in the 2nd quarter massively cost us that game. There were opportunities for us to take and we made light work of Wasps defence at times, we just can’t give the ball away as cheaply as we did. Not against any of the top 4 teams and we’ll learn and go again next weekend, we can and will be better.”
“Huge thanks to all the volunteers and supporters at today’s game, it was a fantastic venue and showcase game which I’m proud to have brought to Milton Keynes and it’s all thanks to all the hard work behind the scenes within Saracens Mavericks.”
This weekend we head to The Ricoh Arena, Coventry for the BIG EASTER WEEKEND to play Celtic Dragons on Saturday and Team Bath on Sunday. Tickets are still available for this event here.
Our next home match sees us return to The University of Essex on Saturday 27th April to play round 17 against Severn Stars @ 4.00pm and you can grab your tickets here