Top guns! Mavericks flying high after opening day success over the Stars
PUBLISHED: 06:54 26 February 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
You either love them or you hate them but the fledgling league table after just one round of fixtures in the Netball Superleague will have Saracens Mavericks falling categorically into the former.
The Hatfield club sit proudly on top of the tree after a resounding 70-49 victory over Severn Stars.
All fixtures of the new season were played one after the other at Arena Birmingham and the Mavs moment in front of the big crowd and the TV cameras came midway through the afternoon.
But even though they ran out comfortable winners in the end, there was a decidedly nervy start to the contest.
Both sides were level pegging in the opening minutes before Stars took advantage of some loose play by Saracens to open a 17-11 lead by the end of the first quarter.
It needed some strong words from director of netball Kat Ratnapala to right the ship during the break but whatever was said worked as the Mavericks came out firing.
They went on to dominate both the quarter and the rest of the proceedings with their defensive pressure telling as they forced Stars to turnover possession on multiple occasions.
The half ended with Mavs, playing in their new colours of black and red, 34-25 in front having recorded a 23-8 second period.
It set the pattern and Saracens didn't let up in the second half either.
Their lead continued to grow as Kadeen Corbin and George Fisher reminded the capacity crowd of how effective they can be with any goal-scoring opportunities while Razia Quashie and Jo Trip were outstanding in defence.
The second half also saw Chloe Essam and 18-year-old Aliyah Zaranyika make their Superleague debuts for the club as Ratnapala mixed and match her combinations.
The nine-point half-time lead was up to 16 by the end of the third quarter and it went out further as Saracens closed out a great start to 2020.
Speaking on the club's website Gabby Marshall said: "It's always good to start the season with a win. Obviously the first quarter wasn't completely ideal getting down by so many goals, but the way we came back shows we've got fight in the team this year.
"The second quarter we came out, we worked together both in attack and in defence and we got the benefits of that definitely."
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