Netball Superleague loss at Manchester Thunder for Herts Mavericks

PUBLISHED: 10:45 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:45 04 April 2017

Ashleigh Neal in action for the Mavericks

Ashleigh Neal in action for the Mavericks

Archant

Herts Mavericks led the way at half-time, but fell to defeat 59-50 away to Manchester Thunder on Monday night.

On the back of a tight home loss to Loughborough Lightning, the Hatfield-based Mavericks travelled up to Manchester with great confidence that they could capitalise on their strengths from the previous game and bring the win home.

Head coach Robyn Broughton chose a familiar line-up to start for Mavericks and the girls in purple were quickest off the mark.

Summer Artman and Lindsay Keable combined well in the defensive circle and their turnovers gave Mavericks a 7-2 lead early on.

Unfortunately Artman came off after 10 minutes and she was replaced by Razia Quashie.

Young Sophie Drakeford-Lewis was maintaining the high shooting percentages that she has been setting herself of late as the Thunder attackers struggled to keep up with the pace.

The first quarter was one of the best attacking performances of the season for Mavericks as they stunned the ThunderDome into silence and took a 16-12 lead after the first 15 minutes.

The home side stepped up their play in the second quarter making it very difficult for the usually potent Mavericks defence to turn over any ball.

However, Keable and Quashie were still picking up rebounds and kept their team four goals ahead until the final minutes of the quarter, when the Thunder came back to within one. The Mavericks took a slender 26-25 into the half-time interval.

With Vicklyn Joseph regularly being forced out of the circle by the strong Thunder defence during the first half, Broughton switched Drakeford-Lewis to GS and brought on the agile Ashleigh Neal at GA.

Early in the quarter Thunder took the lead for the first time in the match.

The teams went goal-for-goal a while before some slightly predictable passing and out-of-character misses from the Mavericks attack gave Thunder a step-up in the game; the home side led 44-39 going into the final quarter.

In a final attempt to secure the game, there was a big switch-up in defence with Artman coming on at GK and Quashie moving to GD.

Michelle Drayne also came on and injected plenty of energy from the WD position, and although the turnovers came they were few and far between, and as the clock ran down the Mavericks attack just didn’t have the answers.

The home side closed out the game comfortably for a nine-goal victory.

Mavericks Starting Seven: Summer Artman (GK), Lindsay Keable (GD), Zara Everitt (WD), Rose Morgan-Smith (C), Keshia Grant (WA), Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (GA), Vicklyn Joseph (GS)

Used Subs: Michelle Drayne, Razia Quashie, Ashleigh Neal.

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