Third time lucky for magnificent Mavericks
PUBLISHED: 18:04 06 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:49 26 October 2009
Co-operative Netball Superleague Grand Final Galleria Mavericks 43 Loughborough Lightning 39 THE GALLERIA Mavericks are the new Netball Superleague Grand Final champions. It was third time lucky for the magnificent Mavericks on Saturday evening against L
Co-operative Netball Superleague Grand Final
Galleria Mavericks 43 Loughborough Lightning 39
THE GALLERIA Mavericks are the new Netball Superleague Grand Final champions.
It was third time lucky for the magnificent Mavericks on Saturday evening against Loughborough Lightning.
After two previous final defeats against TeamBath, the Hatfield-based team finally lifted the Co-operative Netball Superleague crown.
The Herts Sports Village team beat Loughborough Lightning 43-39 in a pulsating match at the K2 Arena in Crawley.
Loughborough, who topped the table at the end of the regular season, seemed to be in control at half-time.
They were leading 21-14 after some superb shooting and all-court work by 19-year-old Jo Harten and a swarming defence which cut down Mavericks' attacking opportunities.
However, Mavericks reverted to a simple yet effective game plan at the start of the second half.
They used a direct ball into England shooter Louisa Brownfield and utilised WA Karen Atkinson's pace and first-time release to create more shooting opportunities.
The Hatfield team outscored Loughborough 8-1 in the first seven minutes of the third quarter in a whirlwind of precision attacking.
At the other end of the court, Clare Elsley, England captain Amanda Newton and skipper Naomi Siddall kept a close watch on Murphy, Harten and Wood.
Mavericks had closed the gap to three with 15 minutes to play.
An edge of the seat thriller ensued, with both teams putting themselves on the line for the final 15 minutes as they battled to take the trophy.
After some end-to-end and goal-for-goal action, Jade Clarke intercepted on the Mavericks' attacking third line, only for England vice captain Atkinson to make an immediate return steal.
The move gave Mavericks fresh impetus and they drew level at 34-34, before pulling ahead by six goals with some fierce all-court defence and clinical finishing from Brownfield and Kiwi Michelle Hall.
Harten inspired a mini-run of four goals for Loughborough to bring them back to within two goals, but Mavericks were not to be beaten.
Some patient attacking work by Atkinson, who left for Australia and the ANZ Championships today (Sunday), and Deb Jones allowed Mavericks to keep both possession and their composure as the clock counted down.
Three goals from Brownfield put the result out of Loughborough's reach.
Speaking after the match, Mavericks' assistant coach Kendra Slawinski was thrilled.
She said: "What a fantastic result.
"Loughborough started really well, but Maggie Jackson and I always tell the girls to focus on one goal at a time, and they did exactly that.
"The squad has worked extremely hard all season and thoroughly deserve the win."
Shooter Brownfield finished with 32 from 37 attempts and Hall nine from 11.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.