16th Dec, 2018

Coach Mel impressed by Wasps’ youngsters

Craig Gibbons 22nd Nov, 2018

WASPS secured a clean sweep in a pre-season Tri Tournament as they continued their preparations for the upcoming league campaign.

It marked the first time Mel Mansfield had led her team as head coach at the Ricoh Arena, and they overcame new Superleague side London Pulse and Team Bath in a packed afternoon of netball.

Mansfield was particularly impressed with the performance of her young players in their first appearance at the Ricoh.

“It was really good run out for us. I was particularly pleased with how we performed against Bath as we really stepped it up a gear,” she said.

“We were able to get some of our young players some good court time too, which is great experience for them.

“They did themselves proud against strong opposition.

“Defensively we were just brilliant, but this is by no means the finished product yet.

“It was good to be able to work out what our priorities need to be before our first fixture in January.

“Fran Williams played at wing defence, which was new for her, but I think she did really well. She is turning into an important senior player for us.”

Wasps started the afternoon with a 41-26 win against London Pulse.

The black-and-golds enjoyed a fast start, securing a six-goal lead by the end of the first quarter.

A duo of flying intercepts from Hannah Knights and Amy Flanagan set the tone for the second quarter as Wasps built a double-digit lead.

Mansfield’s side continued to shine in the second half, building a big lead to run out eventual 41-26 winners.

In the afternoon’s second fixture, Team Bath met London Pulse.

By half-time the game was all but decided, with Bath leading 27-13.

The impressive display from Bath continued in the final two quarters as they ran out 44-29 winners.

The final game of the afternoon brought a rematch of last season’s Superleague semi-final with Wasps against Team Bath.

Bath took an early lead but they were pegged back by sharpshooter Rachel Dunn as Wasps edged the first quarter 9-6.

The visitors fought back to reduce the deficit to just one goal at half-time but Wasps took control after the break, and came through 36-28.

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