Hertfordshire Mavericks blast past Yorkshire Jets to regain Superleague top spot
PUBLISHED: 21:29 04 April 2016 | UPDATED: 21:35 04 April 2016
Hertfordshire Mavericks have returned to the top of the Netball Superleague after a resounding 54-34 Round 12 victory over basement club Yorkshire Jets at Hertfordshire Sports Village tonight (Monday).
Sam Bird’s ladies had set the pace outright for a couple of weeks earlier in the season but title rivals Manchester Thunder, also in ruthless form, led the way in recent times.
With the Northerners not returning to action until Saturday though, Mavericks took full advantage of their chance to leapfrog Dan Ryan’s ladies.
As has been the case for Mavericks this season, they rarely looked under pressure in front of the Sky Sports cameras and a 27-15 half-time lead, aided by the fine shooting of George Fisher, replaced at the break by the equally prolific Sammy Wallace, saw her net 22 of their opening half points.
From a satisfactory second quarter to a punishing third as Mavericks racked up 17 points to Jets’ 10 to head into the final period with an almost unassailable lead.
The win was confirmed in the fourth quarter with more clinicial work and Mavericks march on with another dominant display.
Wallace, confined to the bench in the first half, is always a big miss for Mavericks but Fisher, boasting 92 per cent shooting accuracy before the match, was again in scintillating form, scoring 13 of her side’s 15 points in the opening quarter. Ella Clark delivered the other two efforts.
Jets, winless this season, were in an early tailspin and did not register a point until they fell 7-0 behind. A mini recovery saw them cut their arrears to 15-8 at the end of the first quarter but it looked like it would be a long night for Anna Carter’s ladies.
Credit the visitors as they came out with a renewed vigour despite Jess Shaw being in visible discomfort during the interval with ice on her knee.
At 19-13 Jets were delivering their best play of the match but the dead-eyed Fisher, supplied by player of the match Layla Guscoth and Samantha May, was still causing them concern to lead Mavericks in at the break solidly ahead.
Trinidad and Tobago star Wallace picked up where Fisher left off at the start of the second, netting eight goals in a row in a purple patch for the home side. Goal shooter is a position Mavericks are blessed with talent this season.
With gaps opening up all over the court for the new Superleague leaders, they were exploiting it with ease and a 12-point half-time lead was extended to 19 points by the end of the third quarter.
The result was never doubt at the start of the final period and a slower tempo hindered the last 15 minutes.
Mavericks made no changes to see out the game and they continued to spray the ball around with authority.
Wallace continued her hot streak, with the Jets’ defence unable to prevent her from finding the net almost every time she was lurking in the D.
The home side’s slick play was a joy to watch all evening and they narrowly claimed the final quarter 10-9 to ensure a 20-point win, their 10th from 11 games.
Just the one defeat to Thunder on this season’s results chart and they continue to impress as the playoffs draw ever closer.
Mavericks’ starting line-up: Keable (GK) Guscoth (GD) May (WD) Carter (C) Drayne (WA) Clark (GA) Fisher (GS)
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.