'It's still all to play for' for benecosMavericks despite defeat to Manchester Thunder
PUBLISHED: 15:08 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 10 June 2018
The message was loud and clear from Kat Ratnapala after watching benecosMavericks slip to a 52-47 defeat at home to Manchester Thunder - "it's still all too play far".
The loss keeps the Hertfordshire side in fifth, and crucially outside of the play-off places in the Vitality Netball Superleague.
But the head coach saw enough at the Hertfordshire Sports Village to make her think they could still be in the final shake-up.
She said: “Obviously I’m gutted after that. I think there were opportunities for us to take the lead and push on but we didn’t take them at the critical times.
“That’s what killed us unfortunately.
“I’m disappointed but very proud in the performance that the girls put in, especially in that final quarter.
“It’s all to play for. We’re fifth at the moment and its the top four that go the play-offs and we need to make sure we finish in that top four.”
“But we can absolutely build from that performance.”
The game itself saw Thunder open an eight-point lead after the first quarter in what was a lacklustre opening for the hosts.
They seemed to be trying to force the pass and Thunder picked them off at ease, turning them more often than not into points.
It was better in the second but by half-time the gap was still eight.
But after the break Mavericks were on top, roared on by the sell-out Hatfield crowd.
They never got closer than four, however, with any momentum they built up seemingly punctured by the umpire’s whistle.
And in the end a run of five unanswered points by the visitors at the start of the fourth quarter proved vital as they closed out the win.
Ratnapala said: “Thunder are a physical side and we saw that. We got some hard calls against us defensively and I thought they were allowed to do certain things to us in our attacking end.
“But you can’t blame anything; we just have to look at ourselves, pick ourselves up and move on.
“You could look at every single mistake that was made and every single drop or anything else but at the end of the day at this level and at this stage of the season, we really need to be critical with our possession and I don’t think we were doing that enough.
“That’s what cost us.”
Mavs face Loughborough on Saturday at Colchester before away trips to Wasps and Sirens finish the league campaign.