Mavs back in the winning groove as Dragons' fire is put out in confident display

PUBLISHED: 10:30 23 May 2018

Zara Everitt and benecosMavericks bounced back to beat Celtic Dragons. Picture: Mark Pritchard

Zara Everitt and benecosMavericks bounced back to beat Celtic Dragons. Picture: Mark Pritchard

M Pritchard Photography

On the back of a disappointing performance against a hungry Severn Stars side in Worcester, benecosMavericks were back home at the Herts Sports Village and back on the winning trail against Celtic Dragons.

From the start of the 68-36 romp, the Mavs were on top of their game, obviously keen to right the wrongs from the previous week and put on a show.

They raced into a 16-8 first quarter lead but there was still plenty more in the locker for the home side and coach Kat Ratnapala wanted to continue to build the momentum and build on the relationships out on court.

The second quarter saw no changes, as Ratnapala urged more from the squad.

The combination of Lindsay Keable and Razia Quashie in the defensive end, with Zara Everitt and Gabby Marshall out in front, gave Mavericks the much needed turnover in this quarter.

A time out for Dragons, brought Kalifa McCollin onto court replacing Travis and she quickly found the connection with Karyn Bailey as the Hertfordshire side extended their lead to 35-14.

Significant changes were made for third quarter with Michelle Drayne entering at WD, Everitt moving to GD, Keable moving to GK and Quashie taking to bench.

But thanks to excellent defensive pressure and structure from Drayne and Marshall, the Mavs continued to turn the screw and gave their shooters even more opportunity to goal.

It meant the lead continued to stretch out, 52-22 by the end of the third quarter, and the big lead going into the final quarter ensured all 12 players were used with Frankie Wells and Summer Artman both coming in.

The quarter went more goal for goal but the Mavericks still won it 16-14 to give them the big win and keep them third in the Vitality Netball Superleague.

Ratnapala said: “It was a confident display. We still need to start games better but coming off the first half 35-14 up was good.

“It was great to have a strong squad performance following a disappointing day in Worcester.

“We know what this squad is capable of and it’s important that we deliver when the pressure is on our shoulders as well as when we have the momentum.

“Huge thanks to all our fans and my team behind the squad for making our home games special.”

It’s back to HSV on Saturday for the visit of Team Northumbria.

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