New-look Mavs click straight away as double pre-season wins bode well for new year

PUBLISHED: 14:33 20 December 2018

Lindsay Keable took the player of the match award against Loughborough Lightning. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Lindsay Keable took the player of the match award against Loughborough Lightning. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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benecosMavericks got their pre-season campaign off to the best possible start with a double victory in a tri-team tournament.

The Hertfordshire Sports Village-based netball club first beat hosts Loughborough Lightning 59-32 before seeing off London Pulse 48-30 shortly after.

And considering their preparations for the new Vitality Netball Superleague season have been hampered by international commitments, head coach Kat Ratnapala was pleased with the performances of her new-look side.

She said: “It was great to get all 11 players out on court and I’m really pleased with some of the patches of play.

“We haven’t had many sessions together due to the International fixtures so it’s important to take every opportunity to build in these matches.

“It was great to see George Fisher and Kadeen Corbin back in black & purple this season.”

Mavericks started brightly against Loughborough, combining stability in the defence with skilful play at the attacking end, and they finished the first quarter with a 15-9 lead.

They kept things the same for the second quarter and that really allowed them to kick on.

Lindsay Keable and Razia Quashie, who would lift the player of the match awards for the respective games, began to fins their form from last season and capitalise on turnovers, the Mavs increased their advantage to 27-15.

And even though they began to rotate after half-time, the same pattern followed with Keable in particular producing a defensive masterclass.

The lead was increased by five points by the end of the third and there would be another 10 points added to the gap by the finish, Karyn Bailey scoring 100 per cent of her 15 shots in the fourth quarter.

A quick turnaround put the Mavs back on court in the next match against the Pulse and Ratnapala used this as an opportunity to test a new set of combinations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the space between matches, the Mavericks never captured the intensity of the first game but still proved too much the VNSL newcomers, winning all four quarters on the scoreboard again.

They start their league season on January 5 at Manchester Thunder.


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