Mavericks yet again provide stressful entertainment before securing Sirens win

PUBLISHED: 14:45 12 March 2018

benecosMavericks prepare before their Vitality Netball Superleague clash with UWS Sirens. Picture: COURTNEY FERNS

benecosMavericks prepare before their Vitality Netball Superleague clash with UWS Sirens. Picture: COURTNEY FERNS

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You may find a government report shortly saying there has been a sudden surge in the number of felines being born in Hatfield but don't panic - it just means the benecosMavericks were at home again.

For the second game running the Hertfordshire-based Vitality Netball Superleague side gave their supporters inside the Herts Sports Village on Saturday the proverbial kittens before securing a 46-44 win over UWS Sirens.

It followed the dramatic extra-time win over Surrey Storm last month and once again saw the visitors come back from a half-time deficit.

That time it was 31-25 while here it was slightly more at 27-20.

That gap stretched to eight at the start of the final quarter and even moved out to 10 at one point.

But the Scottish outfit are jam-packed with international know how and they roared back, narrowing the gap to two with three minutes to go.

Fortunately for Mavericks it was at this point that Sirens lost their centre Sara Bayman for two minutes because of dissent.

But even down to six players, they were still able to pull yet another goal back.

However, with calm shooting under pressure Karyn Bailey showed her own experience and when Bayman returned to court with 1.15 left on the clock, the Mavs had made it a two-goal game once more.

And that was how it stayed much to the relief of players, staff and fans alike.

Mavericks’ director of netball and head coach Kat Ratnapala felt the performance wasn’t good enough and has called on her side to improve quickly, starting with this Friday’s trip to Manchester Thunder.

She said “Sirens showed their resilience and were not prepared to give us the win easily.

“They are an experienced side with a huge amount of international experience so tonight was tough to pull away from them.

“It was a really low scoring game and shows the defensive pressure applied from both ends.

“There’s some easy things to fix from tonight’s game, but the performance wasn’t good enough for this squad.

“As a coaching staff, I know we are asking a lot but we know what they are capable of and need to keep pushing for that.”

Karyn Bailey kept her impressive scoring stats going with 36 goals from 40 attempts.

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