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U21S MATCH REPORT | SARACENS MAVERICKS 50-44 LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING

14th March 2022

With Saracens Mavericks coming away with a win two weekends previously against Severn Stars we wanted to keep this momentum and push on with our last few games of the season.

Intensity in training was a must and the girls have been putting in 100% at each session. Pushing each other each week and implementing our mistakes from weeks before.

Starting line-up: GS Libby, GA Pippa, WA Bella, C Liza, WD Aliyah, GD Amy and GK Sam.

The first quarter showed nerves from both teams with simple mistakes when feeding and interceptions coming from both sides. Lightning edged ahead winning the quarter by 2, 12-10.

No changes going into the second quarter, and we knew we had to step up. Our pace and tenacity grew through the quarter. With our defensive duo of Amy and Sam, confusing the space forcing misplaced passes and misplaced shots. With the help of the centre court, these turnovers were being converted to goal helping us with that quarter 14-8. Half time score 24-20.

Again, no changes at half time pushed the 7 on the court and we knew we had a job to do. The team played smart netball and transitions through court improved massively in comparison to the first half. Great defensive structure forced more errors. Allowing our shooter Libby and Pippa to work their rotations, and with circle edge feeds from Bella we finished that quarter 38-29.

Only once change going into the final quarter and we knew the game wasn’t won yet. Knowing Lightning were a very strong team, and they would come out fighting in this last quarter. Isla came on at WA, Bella pushed back to C, Liza to WD, Aliyah to GD and Amy back to GK. This final 15 minutes really tested the girls with silly mistakes and crucial turnover not being taken to goal. Lightning came out strong with calm and patient play, bringing themselves back to within 4. It was the whole team that held off this win, and for Isla entering the game during a crucial moment and keeping her head in the game. Having only scored 12 in this quarter and lighting scoring 15, we knew this was our weakest quarter.

Final score: Saracens Mavericks 50, Loughborough Lightning 44.

Coaches’ player of the match: Aliyah Zaranyika

Oppositions player of the match: Bella Baylis

Players’ player of the match: Eliza Barclay

Written by: Eliza Barclay U21 Captain

Photo Credit: Annette Allanson