MATCH REPORT | Saracens Mavericks 55-59 Severn Stars (NSL Rd1)
It was a game of two halves in front of an energised crowd on Opening Day of the 2023 Netball Super League, as Saracens Mavericks ran out of time to catch a new-look Severn Stars.
Last year’s statistics didn’t give the true picture, as the team who finished fifth last season took on the team who won just three of their matches in 2022. Mavericks faced the unknown entity of an almost entirely new Stars side, complete with Jo Trip as new Player/Coach.
While Mavericks started strong, Stars grew into the game and, ultimately, Mavericks’ surge in the final quarter wasn’t enough to catch the team from Worcester.
Head Coach, Camilla Buchanan, took responsibility for the result of her first League match in charge:
“A Lot of lessons learnt. I don’t think we – and by we I mean ‘I’ – adjusted tactically enough to that. We were prepared tactically but I’m not sure our execution was there at times.”
Mavericks opened the scoring, with new squad member Kira Rothwell teaming up effectively with Ine-Mari Venter. The Hertfordshire team ended the first quarter with a narrow advantage.
There was nothing to separate the two sides in the second quarter as the crowd were treated to pacey, competitive netball. Although Mavericks went into the much-needed half time break a point ahead, it was Stars who won the second quarter and looked to be getting a foothold on the game.
Mavericks showcased the depth in their squad in the third quarter with Mather handing the mid-court baton to Ecuyer-Dale and Corbin tagging out for Lees. The Severn, meanwhile, stuck with their (increasingly) magnificent seven to frustrate Mavericks and head into the final quarter with a 6-point advantage.
Buchanan’s side fought hard to claim the fourth quarter on points but, unfortunately, to lose the match. The Head Coach found the positives from match one of her team’s 2023 campaign:
“It’s early on. We can go back to the training ground and really refine those things.”
Lisa Mather echoed her Coach’s determination and optimism:
“It was a good game to look at what we need to improve on going ahead and I’m sure it’s going to give us more fire to keep going and get wins.”
Great to see old and new squad members giving their all on court this afternoon. Saracens Mavericks will play their first game in front of a home crowd at 4pm next Saturday against Leeds Rhinos, another team looking for their first win of the season.
By Erica Rosa Tapp