R3: Mavs Vs London Pulse
Saracens Mavericks return home to HSV and take the win.
After nearly 2 years away from the Hertfordshire Sports Village, Saracens Mavericks welcomed home supporters back into their venue. With a packed out crowd and a performance to back after last week’s opener weekend, the black & reds were ready to put on a show.
The first quarter opened with a Pulse break at their centre pass which Mavericks took straight to goal. Captain Sasha Corbin treated the home supporters to a sprinkle of pizazz when she took Mavericks’ first centre pass & set a backward, over-the-head pass to Beth Ecuyer Dale. Unable to complete the centre pass, Pulse took advantage of the possession & made the score 1-1. A ping pong first few minutes saw neither team take full control but it was Saracens Mavericks who had the smoothest route to goal & sailed into a healthy 16-9 lead after the opening 15mins.
Quarter two saw no changes from Saracens Mavericks but four personnel changes for London Pulse. Pechova entered at GK, Fudoju slid across to GD, EverItt to WD & Scholes into WA. The changes impacted positively as Pulse with Dekker, Scholes & Tchine linked more effectively.
The attacking end opened a little easier for the East London team but it was Mavericks missed shots the other end that allowed Pulse to edge their way closer. The combination of Quashie, Gibson, Marshall & Ecuyer Dale worked to try & slow down the pace of Pulses new found attack, meanwhile at the other end S.Corbin, K.Corbin & Venter started to find the space to split the Pulse defence.
The quarter ended 27-20 to Mavericks.
With a solid first half under their belts, Director of Netball Kat Ratnapala left her team unchanged whilst Pulse rang the changes and bought new Australian signing Sasha McDonald into GA. Mavericks started the quarter strong putting four unanswered goals on the board. Kadeen Corbin was showing her court IQ & finding space through court that the Pulse defence just couldn’t match. Marshall & Gibson were working hard to shut down the top of the circle winning some ball & creating mistakes from a young Pulse side. They continued to put their foot on the pedal with S & K Corbin linking with Venter to accelerate into a 13 goal lead.
The final 15mins saw Jameela McCarthy & Georgia Lees enter for the home side & Honey entered the game for Pulse in the Centre position. Pulse had an impressive momentum shift and went on a roll of scoring in chunks of three goals. With Mavericks unable to find the answers defensively also missed some crucial shots & Pulse kept edging their way back to Mavericks.
A tactical change called by the red & blacks with K.Corbin shifting back into the GK position & Chloe Essam entering at GA. Pulse called for not wholly within the circle meant that they handed their possession straight to Mavericks who were unable to convert.
For a rocky end to the game Saracens Mavericks had done just enough to get over the line & finished the game with a 53-51 win.
Kat Ratnapala said “Great to make it 3 from 3 this evening at home, after almost 24 months, in front of our electric home crowd, we definitely felt and heard them. We’ve missed being able to put on a show and to all the staff and volunteers, it was amazing! It’s still early days in the league and I’m really pleased that we are able to show more consistency within quarters and put out performances we know we are capable of. It’s now backing that up and ensuring we continue to build game after game.
Made up for both Kadeen and Beth, as players of the match, both really delivered tonight and I couldn’t have been prouder of their performances.”
Match Report : Saracens Mavericks