Mavericks slip to a first 2017 Netball Superleague defeat

PUBLISHED: 17:06 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:06 28 February 2017

Team Bath's Layla Guscoth (right) and Hertfordshire Mavericks' Sophie Hankin

Team Bath's Layla Guscoth (right) and Hertfordshire Mavericks' Sophie Hankin

EMPICS Sport

Hatfield’s Herts Mavericks suffered a first loss of the season as they were beaten 49-42 by Team Bath on Saturday.

The match was the final game of the Super Ten, where all 10 Superleague teams played at one venue on one day towards the start of the season.

At the Genting Arena in Birmingham, Mavericks’ head coach Robyn Broughton put out the same seven that finished last week’s win against Team Northumbria.

It didn’t take long for Team Bath to open up a five-goal lead, as Mavericks struggled to get the ball past the brick wall that Bath seemed to have put up around the circle.

The purple defence was equally strong, winning plenty of turnover ball to bring the scoreline back.

Bath scored right on the buzzer to take a 12-10 first quarter lead.

After the break both teams seemed more settled, but the game was still unpredictable as shooting percentages from both sides were not as would be expected, mostly due to relentless defensive pressure both teams were putting on the shooters.

Last year’s Mavericks captain Layla Guscoth, now with Bath, earned plenty of interceptions throughout the quarter, but the incisive play from Keshia Grant and Michelle Drayne, supported by Zara Everitt, saw Mavericks start to pull away.

However, Bath clawed the deficit back to only a single goal at 22-21 just before half-time.

Rose Morgan-Smith entered the game at centre for Mavericks at the break with Grant pushing wing attack.

The game then followed the same script as the previous two quarters, with neither defence giving anything away and the score remaining tight.

The crowd were becoming more engaged as the umpires were increasingly involved, making pretty much every call in the rulebook throughout the quarter which Bath edged 33-32.

After such an incredible first 45 minutes from both teams, Bath adapted their attacking dynamic and raced to a seven-goal lead that the Mavericks just couldn’t pull back.

The result may have been hard to take, but the performance should fill Mavericks fans with great positivity for the rest of this season.

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