18th Feb, 2020

Harten breaks Wasps' hearts, but Mansfield confident for new season

Ben Tyler 17th Oct, 2019

MEL Mansfield was left impressed by her young Wasps players, despite a 61-35 defeat in the British Fast5 All-Stars final in London.

It was the second successive year that the Black and Golds had reached the final of the pre-season tournament at the Copperbox Arena, although they were unable to replicate their 2018 success against a Jo Harten-inspired Loughborough Lightning side.

Beating Surrey Storm and Manchester Thunder en route to the showpiece, Wasps were undone by sharp-shooting England Roses international Harten, who scored all 61 of her side’s points.

Wasps head coach Mansfield said: “It was fantastic to have the group back together and back in black and gold for the first time since the Superleague Grand Final.

“This tournament won’t be a measure of the season ahead, but there are plenty of positives to take away. This really is the start of pre-season for us and we’re working towards the start of the season in February now.

“Jo Harten was simply outstanding in the final – we struggled to limit the ball getting into her and she was electric from the circle edge too.”

Mansfield says she felt vindicated by the performances of her team, after deciding against drafting in players.

“We decided to go with our own all-stars, we didn’t bring anyone in,” she said.

“It was great to be able to give our young guns some time on court too. Beth Dix, Hannah Leighton and Ally Housley all impressed me with their performances and maturity and they all have very bright futures in this sport.”

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