Two more wins leave Hertfordshire Mavericks all-but assured of Netball Superleague play-off place
PUBLISHED: 17:06 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 13:16 31 March 2016
Two massive Easter wins have left second-placed Hertfordshire Mavericks all but assured of their Superleague play-off semi-final place.
Prior to the Hertfordshire Sports Village-based side’s second-half revival to beat Loughborough Lightning on their travels on Easter Monday, Sam Bird’s in-form Mavericks put Team Northumbria to the sword 64-40 in front of a sell-out home crowd on Saturday.
The hosts were looking for a strong first quarter and the players did not disappoint with Mavericks dominating through every area of the court.
Lindsay Keable and Layla Guscoth shut down the attack while shooters George Fisher and Sophie Hankin maintained their high accuracy to help Mavericks stormed into a seven-goal lead, 17-10, at the conclusion of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Team Northumbria present a more physical challenge to Mavericks and disrupt their play to an extent in a quarter marked by the umpire’s whistle and a game without much flow from either side but Mavericks held on to lead 27-20 at the break.
Changes at half-time for Mavericks brought a new energy to the team which saw Fisher come out to goal attack and Sammy Wallace, who notched 13 out of her 14 first-half attempts, return to the game at goal shooter.
Scarlett Williams entered the fray at wing defence with Samantha May moving to centre.
In a punishing third quarter with Mavericks winning by nine goals, the lead was stretched to 46-30.
The final quarter saw Bethany Sutherland come on at WD and Hankin return to GA.
Mavericks pushed on demanding more goals and quality play right to the final whistle.
Bird also made changes during the quarter which saw Summer Artman and Vicki Oyesola go into the defending circle for Mavericks.
The back three players, all just 18 years old, were a pleasure to watch and turned over Northumbria’s ball several times.
The home side pushed on winning the last quarter 18-10 to ensure the 24-point cushion at the end of the game.
Should Mavericks beat league leaders Manchester Thunder this Saturday, they will leapfrog their rivals with just three games to go.