MATCH REPORT | Saracens Mavericks 48-45 Strathclyde Sirens
Written by Camilla Buchanan | Photography by Rhiannon Shore
Saracens Mavericks go toe to toe with Sirens
An opening sprint out of the blocks for Saracens Mavericks proved to be the 15 minutes that got them over the line with a 48-45 win over the Scottish outfit.
Saracens Mavericks took their 2022 campaign on the road to their home from home at the University of Essex, Colchester in what was set to be a nail biter of a game.
The Black & Reds hadn’t taken a win off Strathclyde Sirens since Round 18 in the 2019 season, so were hungry to regain the upper hand.
Quarter one opened with plenty of contesting, with both teams taking a three goal run each in the opening part of the quarter.
The Mavericks line of defence was tight with some slick switches between Razia Quashie & Jodie Gibson…whilst Version 2 Player of the Match Aliyah Zaranyika and Beth Ecuyer-Dale formed a steel barrier in front of them to build the pressure against a persistent Sirens side. The quarter ended 14-10 to the home side.
The second quarter opened with the familiar Black and Red defensive pressure forcing Sirens to throw their centre pass possession off the sideline.
Followed up with some swift through court and an Ecuyer-Dale special give & go that Ine-Mari Venter slotted away, that started a 5-0 run for Mavs.
That was to be Venters last of the game as she suffered a tweak to her calf which forced her to leave the court prematurely.
Player of the Match, Zaranyika was exceptional as she charged through with an outstanding intercept to lift her side further into the lead.
Chloe Essam entered at GA & Kadeen Corbin moved back to GS, the duo kept the momentum going as Sirens looked to fight back into the game.
The ever growing Scottish partnership of McCall & Goodwin were finding their groove & with McCalls long bomb range causing problems for the Mavs defence, they kept close to the Blacks & Reds and drew the quarter 12-12.
26-22 to Mavericks
Sirens half time team talk clearly targeted the Mavericks attacking line with increased pressure not allowing Mavericks a clear pathway to goal. Vinkhumbo & Nicholl for sirens were causing all kinds of mischief, forcing a high number passes per play & some balls off the back line.
Sirens introduced Emma Barrie at GS & after an injury call Goodwin came back into the game from a short stint on the bench as McCall left the court as GA.
Britney Clarke also entered as GS for Saracens Mavericks slotting away 3 from 3 in the few moments left, edging the quarter by 2 goals finishing 37-31.
The final push for both teams saw Mavericks inject Georgia Lees at WA & Captain Sasha Corbin into C.
A ring of changes for Sirens helped them claw back but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line.
The Black & Reds never gave up their lead and finished the game 48-45.
Kat Ratnapala said that “although it wasn’t a smooth route to a win, we have often struggled against this Sirens team when it mattered. And today mattered. So we will take the win & move swiftly on to our game two of the weekend as we take on Surrey Storm away tomorrow. I was delighted with Player of the Match Aliyah Zaranyika’s step up today. I felt like she dominated her zone and won ball when it mattered but also eliminated their options, a really mature performance for our rising star”.
Saracens Mavericks travel away to Surrey Sports Park tomorrow to take on the duck egg blue at 2pm.