Entertaining season ends with one final chaotic round
IT may have been the final round of the regular season of the 2023 Netball Super League season, but there was still some surprises yet to come, even down to the final game.
Arguably the biggest upset of the season, let alone the round, came in the final game of the season with the Saracens Mavericks defeating the London Pulse 52 goals to 50.
Despite a dominant start from the Pulse, once the Mavericks took control of the game they really never looked back and gave Sasha Corbin a send off to remember.
The Pulse got off to the perfect start after picking up a turnover off the very first centre pass, and consolidated off their first centre pass to take an early lead.
The Mavericks were their own worst enemy at times, and although they were getting plenty of turnovers things were falling a part in attack. The fact that their opening centre pass got called held ball was the perfect visual representation of how the beginning of the game was going for them.
As the quarter progressed though the Mavericks finally got things together, and got back with in a goal after being down by as much as four. They then finally levelled things up and took the lead inside the final minute of the quarter, and maintained a narrow one goal lead at the first change.
The Mavericks continued to maintain their lead in the front half of the second term, and even got out to as much as four goals ahead.
Unlike the first quarter, the Mavericks were making better use of the defensive pickups they were getting and they really had their hosts rattled.
The Mavericks lead kept growing as the quarter progressed, and got out to as much as seven ahead, but the Pulse pegged a few back late. However, they were still five goals down at the main break.
The Pulse were really were their own worst enemies early in the third term, with cheap turnovers and throwaway frees really hurting the Londoners.
It got out to as much as a 10 goal difference as the Mavericks continued to hold momentum and control of the game.
Then, much like in the third quarter the Pulse made a late charge, but were still six goals down at the final change.
The Pulse’s inability to make much of a dent on the deficit saw them change things up in the shooting end – including putting Berri Neil into goal shooter and sending Olivia Tchine to the bench – but the strength and dominance of Monique Meyer and Razia Quashie ensured that the changes did not make a difference. The Pulse did get within five goals, but the Mavericks then rallied to ensure that would be as close as they would get.
Corbin (40 feeds, one deflection) has a huge final game for the Mavericks, while Meyer (six turnovers, four intercepts, one deflection, one rebound, one feed) and Quashie (five turnovers, three deflections, three intercepts, one rebound) also starred.
Meanwhile for the Pulse it was their defenders who starred, namely Funmi Fadoju (eight deflections, six turnovers, one intercept, one rebound) and Halimat Adio (six turnovers, three deflections, three rebounds).
In other results:
- Yesterday’s result was not the only big result over the weekend with the Dragons and Rhinos playing out a thrilling draw on Friday night.
In a match that was tight all game, it came down to a contact call in the final seconds which saw the game end in a tie.
Shaquanda Greene-Noel (seven intercepts, seven turnovers, four deflections) and Gabrielle Sinclair (35 goals, 10 feeds) both starred for the Dragons despite the former finishing the game with a warning, while Ellie Bird (45 goals, three rebounds, one turnover) and Elle McDonald (20 feeds, two intercepts, two turnovers, one deflection) both did for the Rhinos.
- The Lightning tuned up for finals and booked a home semi final with a big win over Team Bath.
A 10 goal lead at quarter time really set things up for the Lightning, and they never really looked back.
Mary Cholhok (61 goals, seven rebounds, two feeds) was in particularly scintillating form for the Lightning, while Alice Harvey (seven turnovers, five rebounds, three deflections, two intercepts). Meanwhile Ali Wilshier (32 feeds) and Jayda Pechova (five deflections, five turnovers, three intercepts, one rebound) were among the best for Bath.
- The Thunder also tuned up for finals with a big win, comfortably downing the Strathclyde Sirens.
The Thunder were quick to take the lead and never looked back from there.
Natalie Metcalf (34 feeds, 11 goals, three deflections, one rebound, one turnover) was busy for the Thunder, while Josie Huckle (nine turnovers, seven rebounds, two intercepts) also had a great game. Meanwhile Towera Vinkhumbo (10 turnovers, seven intercepts, three deflections, two rebounds) again starred for the Sirens, while Kelly Boyle (23 feeds) also had a solid game.