Mavericks light up Copper Box as victory over Bath keeps them on Wasps' tail
PUBLISHED: 15:07 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:08 01 May 2018
M Pritchard Photography
The benecosMavericks shone in the gleaming Copper Box as they battled to a 57-41 victory over Team Bath.
The result was enough to lift them up to second in the Vitality Netball Superleague and was the perfect way to recover from defeat to Loughborough Lightning the previous week.
Coach Kat Ratnapala was delighted with the result, especially as the game hadn’t always gone to plan.
She said: “That was a true squad effort. We’ve had some better connections in training this week and I was excited to see what we could produce out there.
“I think it’s the connections that won us the game; we were all on the same page, understood what the roles were and for long periods of the game we nailed it.
“It wasn’t the perfect game but it’s a step in the right direction and we need to keep on building to continue to take that all important top four place.”
The expectation prior to the start was for a tough physical and mental battle.
And the Mavs got off to a flyer, capitalising on a few early Bath errors to lead 7-3 in the first 10 minutes of the game.
However, Bath’s experience, led by Commonwealth Games gold-medal winner Eboni Beckford-Chambers at GK, meant they weren’t prepared to lay down and take defeat and they fought back hard to make it 13-7 at the end of the first quarter.
After being asked for better connections, more availability and more turnovers, the squad reacted putting up 22 shots in this quarter with fine delivery from Gabby Marshall and Sasha Corbin to the shooting combination of Karyn Bailey and Kalifa McCollin.
Bailey was on fine form, showing her world-class experience and strength against a strong Bath defensive circle.
At half time, Mavericks led 32-18 and by the end of the third quarter had extended that lead to 46-30, with the tireless work of Lindsay Keable and Razia Quashie pivotal to this.
The call for the final quarter was to finish the game off and despite some more lapses in concentration, they did just that, drawing the quarter 11-11 to keep their 16-point lead intact.
Bailey led the shooting percentages with a 91 per cent success rate from her 54 shots.
Mavericks are away to Surrey Storm on Saturday as they chase runaway leaders Wasps.