Herts Mavericks avenge last season's Storm Superleague final defeat to move step closer to play-offs
PUBLISHED: 09:57 07 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:20 07 March 2016
Hertfordshire Mavericks took a giant step towards securing their place in the Netball Superleague play-offs after a terrific triumph over defending champions Surrey Storm at London Live at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday.
London Live always provides a great spectacle for the fans but Mavericks were business-like in their approach to this clash, avenging last season’s disappointing Superleague final loss to Storm at the same venue.
The first quarter was a tight affair, but the tone was set by Mavericks with their shooters settling first and taking some great feeds.
At the other end, Storm’s shooters struggled with the defensive pressure but led at various points of the opening period.
Sam Wallace’s effort seconds before the buzzer got Mavericks back on level terms at 10-10.
Sam Bird’s in-form ladies turned the screw on Storm in the second quarter.
Mavericks’ shooting was exceptional in the second quarter, creating 21 opportunities to move into a dominant advantage minutes before the break.
Again the defensive work from Joline Johansson and Sam May in the mid court was outstanding, setting up turn-over ball for the players behind and they stretched their lead to 27-20 at half-time.
Storm made changes in the second half but the players that started for Mavericks, having played so well, deserved to stay on.
The coaches were pleased with patience of the players who kept their heads and maintained their form.
Despite Storm making a number of changes, the lead remained six in Mavericks’ favour, going into the last quarter ahead at 40-34.
The final quarter was close-fought but Mavericks’ discipline and focus held and the shooting remained on point.
Sammy Wallace showed her world-class ability to net 91 per cent of her shots (41/44) ensured a solid victory.
Following the win, head coach Bird said: “It was a good win for us and I’m delighted the players’ hard work is paying off on the court.
“Thanks to the Mavericks fans for their fantastic support at the Copper Box. We are delighted to get a win for them and hope to keep on improving into the the second phase of the competition.”
Mavericks host Celtic Dragons at the University of Hertfordshire tonight (Monday) looking their sixth win in seven games.
A win and failure for Manchester Thunder to defeat Team Northumbria would mean the Hatfield franchise lead the way after round nine.