Mavericks crash away to Thunder
PUBLISHED: 09:09 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:26 20 March 2014
M Pritchard Photography
Hertfordshire Mavericks were victims of a determined fightback by Manchester Thunder, suffering a 53-46 loss at the Manchester Thunderdome on Monday.
Mavericks were out to avenge a 10-goal defeat from round three, however the Hatfield-based side let their early lead slip, as second-placed Thunder battled back, led by captain Sara Bayman and excellent shooting from Kathryn Turner.
After making the long trip north, Karen Atkinson’s side started the stronger of the two teams with the Corbin sisters, Sasha and Kadeen, linking up well in attack with their pace and accurate passing.
However, their lead, which reached five at points in the first quarter, was soon eaten up by Thunder who went into quarter time 16-12 up.
The intensity and commitment of the match increased, as Thunder stepped up their defence with Jodie Gibson and Georgie Webster claiming some excellent interceptions. However, Mavericks kept their composure, keeping in touch with the home side who led 29-25 at half time.
The third quarter started slowly without a goal being scored for two minutes, as both defences effectively shut down each team’s attacking options. Mavericks clawed back the deficit to just two goals as the frantic pace and physicality of the match led to both teams losing their discipline.
Helen Housby sunk a long range shot on the three quarter time whistle to give Thunder a 40-39 lead at three quarter time.
A tense final quarter followed and the introduction of Laura Malcom to the Thunder defensive line seemed to revitalise the home crowd who stretched their lead to six with 10 minutes to go.
As ever though, Mavericks kept coming back and were within three goals at one point, with Layla Guscoth picking up some crucial interceptions. But consistent shooting from Helen Housby and Kathryn Turner kept the scoreboard ticking over for Thunder, which ultimately was the difference between the two sides.
The final score ended 53-46 to Thunder, cementing their place in the top two of the Zeo Superleague table.