Mavericks storm into play-offs
PUBLISHED: 16:37 02 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:28 26 October 2009
Co-operative Netball Superleague Mavericks 48 Brunel Hurricanes 25 THE GALLERIA Mavericks are through to the Co-operative Netball Superleague play-offs. The Hatfield-based side stormed into the end-of-season showpiece with a fantastic victory over Brunel
Co-operative Netball Superleague
Mavericks 48 Brunel Hurricanes 25
THE GALLERIA Mavericks are through to the Co-operative Netball Superleague play-offs.
The Hatfield-based side stormed into the end-of-season showpiece with a fantastic victory over Brunel Hurricanes on Friday night.
Mavericks blew away the Hurricanes 48-25 at the Hertfordshire Sports Village after outscoring their London rivals 24-10 in the second half.
That secured Mavericks a top four CNSL spot and a place in the play-offs with one match to spare.
England captain Amanda Newton and Mavericks skipper Naomi Siddall completely shut down Hurricanes' usually prolific GA Lara Welham, restricting her to only 11 shots on goal throughout the game.
And with Claire Elsley, Debbie Jones and England vice captain Karen Atkinson dominating the centre court, Hurricanes could find no way through.
England shooter Louisa Brownfield, meanwhile, converted 34 out of 40 attempts for the home side. Kiwi Michelle Hall also claimed 14 points.
Having lost to league leaders Loughborough Lightning the previous week, Mavericks couldn't afford to lose Friday's match in front of a capacity crowd approaching 600, with many more turned away.
Brunel arrived in Herts one place below Mavericks in the Superleague standings and needing to win their remaining two matches to deny the Hatfield side a place in the play-offs.
Coming off the Loughborough defeat, where the Mavericks knew they were under par in all areas of the court, it was clear from the warm up that the hosts meant business.
Last season's losing Grand Finalists fielded their big guns throughout and the Mavericks showed a greater intensity then seen before this season.
Brunel are a tough side to beat and it was important that the home team kept the width and moved the ball quickly.
Options through the court were varied and England internationals Elsley and Newton were given the space to drive through the court.
With Jones and Atkinson moving together, the circle edge feeds were able to give Brownfield and Hall plenty of shooting opportunities.
Brunel's shooter was always a threat but the tight Mavericks defence prevented the Hurricanes centre court from giving her clear feeds.
The new circle partnership of Mavericks captain Siddall and Newton is beginning to gel and the turnovers by both of them gave the Galleria sponsored side the possession they required to go ahead and win the match.
Mavericks chose for the first time this season to keep a settled seven to see how some of the players coped with this.
Brunel, meanwhile, changed their centre court but this did not stop Mavericks and the tight defensive play throughout the court prevented the Hurricanes from settling.
The final 48-25 winning margin secured Mavericks the points needed to qualify for the play-offs in Sheffield later this month.
Before then, Mavericks complete their Netball Superleague season with an away match against Team Northumbria on Monday, March 10.
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