MATCH REPORT | Saracens Mavericks 71 – 47 Loughborough Lightning
Written by Camilla Buchanan | Photography by Annette Allanson
Mavericks left stunned by Loughborough’s Lightning start
Saracens Mavericks travelled to the midlands to take on undefeated Loughborough Lightning in what proved to be a shake to Mavericks’ recent form.
A Nine goal Lightning run left Saracens Mavericks stunned in the opening quarter & too much to claw back against a firing Loughborough side.
The Version2 sponsored side came into the game with confidence after a string of growing performances but struggled to take a quarter off of Lightning.
After a heavy 19-7 first quarter the red & blacks had left themselves a mountain to climb.
Despite Mavericks’ efforts in the second quarter, the Lightning side kept their foot on the pump and finished the game with an excruciating 71-47 win over the Hertfordshire based team.
Kat Ratnapala, Saracens Mavericks Director of Netball & head Coach added “our team was stifled from the off set & left ourselves too much to recover against a classy Loughborough side. It was an uncomfortable loss after a string of pleasing performances but questions were asked of us that we are grateful for at this stage of the season. I was pleased with Razia Quashie’s relentlessness efforts against Mary, her leadership and perseverance even when the chips were down shows just the kind of character that she has”.
Saracens Mavericks hasn’t beaten the Lightning side since 2019 and were determined to change history with a strong game.
The quarter opened with pressure from both defensive lines forcing both teams into a high number of passes in each play.
The red & blacks made a massive 8 turnovers in the quarter but were unable to convert to scoreboard points.
Quarter two saw both teams unchanged & Saracens Mavericks hoping for a huge quarter to try and recover their 12 goal deficit.
Mavericks came out stronger & equalled Lightnings 18 shooting opportunities but fell short of three goals for the quarter to end 36-21.
Mavericks made one change at half time with Georgia Lees entering for S.Corbin at WA. Lightning remained the same, keeping their momentum and blazing into the third quarter burying Mavericks with a 9-0 start to the period. The damage had been done & for Mavericks it was now about finishing with a little pride and attempting to string together some passages that they could build on.
Lightning’s young gun GK Alice Harvey took a well earned rest and made way for South African star Phumza Maweni. The quarter ended 57-34.
The changes were rung for both sides, with Britney Clarke entering at GS for Saracens Mavs & Suzie Liverseidge in at GA for Lightning.
Clarke entered the game strong & got stuck in with her first couple of touches keeping the ball in court with a touch of magic.
Quashie in the defence end, kept up her almost impossible task of trying to keep Cholhok quiet and was tenacious in her attempts.
Lightning emptied their bench for the remainder of the game & Mavericks injected young star Aliyah Zaranyika.
The final 71-47 score line proved a very disappointing outing for the Hertfordshire based team but with some great lessons to take into their double header this weekend playing at the incredible University of Essex vs Strathclyde Sirens & Sundays game away to Surrey Storm.