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Mavericks Show End to End Strength to Overpower the Dragons

8th March 2016

Vitality Netball Superleague

Round 8: Hertfordshire Mavericks V Celtic Dragons

Hertfordshire Mavericks 67 Celtic Dragons 45

With only Sunday to rest after our victory v Surrey Storm at The Copperbox on Saturday night Hertfordshire Mavericks had to contend with an “in form” Celtic Dragons on Monday night. Another sell out crowd for this Sky TV match at our home venue provided a great setting for us to attempt to take top spot of the Vitality NSL table.

A couple of changes to the team that faced Storm, saw Sophie Carter coming in at WD and Sam May move across to the GD position.  The first quarter was well contested by Dragons with their GA and GK impressing. However Mavericks were always in control and the team soon started to put some fine moves on through the court. The first quarter saw Mavericks lead 15 - 13.

With no changes to the team in Q2, HM stepped up a gear and began to dominate all over the court. Keable, May and Carter defended the Dragons attack well forcing a number of held balls and errors. We capitalised on our possession with Johannson dominating the mid court. The mid court provided shooters Hankin and Wallace with 18 shooting opportunities and HM took a commanding lead in the second quarter winning it by 8 goals.  The half time score being 29-19.

Q3 saw the entry of two of Hertfordshire Mavericks young superstars into the game;  George Fisher (17) GA with Beth Sutherland (18) also coming on at WD. Celtic also made changes and improved on their second half performance but Mavericks proved too strong and stretched our lead in third quarter to 44-32.

The final quarter saw two more young England and HM stars enter the game Summer Artman (18) and Vicky Oyesola (18). Both performed well as Mavericks continued piling on the pressure against Dragons. Sammy Wallace finished off an outstanding game of shooting scoring 19/19 taking her shooting for the match to 94 %. The link up play between Johansson and Wallace in the last quarter had the crowd holding its breath and saw Johansson being awarded player of the match by the SKY commentary team.

Head Coach, Sam Bird said "A good strong performance from the team tonight. We had a number of demanding team targets to execute and did well to meet them against this improved Celtic Dragons side. Every player that took to the court performed well and it is pleasing to see that any player can go out deliver what our coaching team is asking of them. It’s good to be top of the table, but its all about being consistent and continuing to evolve and improve through the season to the playoffs."

Player of the Match: Joline Johannson

Shooting Percentages:

Sammy Wallace: 94%

Hankin: 75%

Fisher: 100%

(Photo Credit: Lee @Scrumpix)