Variety aplenty as final month gets underway
AS the final month of the 2023 Netball Super League season got underway, there was certainly variety to the results over the weekend.
One match that kept fans on the edge of their seats was the Mavericks’ four goal win over the Stars.
It was tight for much of the match, but the Mavericks survived a solid Stars fightback in the last term to take the win.
Thanks to some strong defensive work from Razia Quashie, it was the Mavericks who were the first to skip out to an early lead.
Even with Ine-Mari Venter out on the side lines, Britney Clarke and Kira Rothwell were proving that was not going to be an issue as they worked well together early to keep momentum and control with the Mavericks.
They held their lead for much of the quarter, but thanks to some strong defensive pressure from the likes of Jo Trip, the Stars began to work back into the game.
However the Stars comeback did not last long as the Mavericks reasserted their dominance on the game and their lead benefited.
Things quickly got away from the Stars as the Mavericks got out to as much as seven goals in front. The Stars then rejigged their defence in the hope of seeing some change, and although the defensive pressure from the Stars did increase the Mavericks were still five goals ahead at the first change.
It was very tight early in the second term as teams traded blows. The Stars made a little bit of a dent in the deficit, but for the most part it was a goal for goal affair in the opening five minutes of the term.
Slowly but surely though the Stars got back in the game and got the margin back to as low as two, but as quickly as they got that margin down the Mavericks got it back up again. But again, the Stars ate away at the deficit, and this time got within one goal.
The lead went up and down several more times in the last few minutes of the term, but the lead was always the visitors’, and in the end that margin sat at four goals at the main break.
The Stars were the ones to get the better of the starts in the third term, getting within one of the Mavericks before the visitors steadied and re-established their lead.
As the quarter progressed the Mavericks really established their dominance on the game, even getting out to as much as six goals ahead.
However, the Stars were far from done and really turned things around late in the term, again getting within one goal of the Mavericks.
A late goal saw the Mavericks take a two goal lead into the final change, but it really was anyone’s game.
The Mavericks were the ones to get the better start in the fourth term, quickly pushing their lead back out to five goals.
The Stars were their own worst enemy at times as small errors in attack were all the difference and the Mavericks raced out even further to as much as eight goals.
However, just as the Mavericks looked like they were cruising towards an easy win, the Stars woke up and chose chaos, and after scoring six in a row had started a mighty comeback.
Unfortunately for the Stars they ultimately ran out of time to complete the comeback.
It was the defenders who really starred for both sides.
Quashie (six turnovers, three deflections, three intercepts, two rebounds) and Monique Meyer (seven turnovers, four intercepts, two deflections, one rebound) both starred for the Mavericks, as did Jasmine Brown (10 deflections, nine turnovers, four intercepts, four rebounds) for the Stars, while Jessica Shaw (32 feeds, one rebound) also had a great game.
In other results:
- Loughborough Lightning did it easily against the Leeds Rhinos, defeating the Rhinos by 16 goals.
A seven goal quarter time lead to the Lightning was a sign of things to come as they cruised after that.
Mary Cholhok (54 goals, six rebounds, one deflection) and Hannah Joseph (34 feeds, two deflections) again both starred for the Lightning, while Ellie Bird (44 goals, two rebounds, one intercept) and Vicki Oyesola (eight deflections, five turnovers, two rebounds, one intercept) were both excellent for the Rhinos.
- In the most narrow result of the weekend, the Storm held on for a narrow win over the Celtic Dragons.
The scores were tied with seconds left, but enter Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, who came in and sunk the winning shot to break Dragon hearts.
Drakeford-Lewis (24 goals, three deflections, one rebound, one assist) led the way in attack for the Storm, while Layla Guscoth (three turnovers, two deflections, one rebound, one intercept) also had a strong game despite racking up a high number of penalties.
Meanwhile for the Dragons it was their defenders who starred, namely Ella Powell-Davies (five turnovers, four intercepts, three deflections) and Shaquanda Greene-Noel (five deflections, five turnovers, two intercepts).
- Manchester Thunder had another narrow win, this time only beating Bath by four goals.
Bath had a really strong second term to take control of the match, before Thunder retook control of the match in the second half to ultimately take the win.
Meanwhile for Bath Jayda Pechova (four turnovers, four deflections, three intercepts, two rebounds) had another great game, as did Ali Wilshier (34 feeds, three intercepts, three turnovers, two deflections).
- The London Pulse have beaten the Strathclyde Sirens by seven goals.
The Sirens were leading at quarter time, but an 18 goal to 10 second quarter in favour of the Pulse really turned things around in their favour. This quarter was ultimately the difference in the end.