20th Sep, 2018

Wasps lay down a semi-final marker

Craig Gibbons 22nd Jun, 2018

WASPS signed off their home campaign in style with a hard-fought 57-50 win against top-four hopefuls Mavericks.

The Vitality Superleague leaders led by just one goal going into the final quarter at the Ricoh Arena before pulling away in the final stages to secure their 15th victory of the season.

Tamsin Greenway’s side, who have already secured their place in the semi-finals, now play their final league game of the season at Team Northumbria on Saturday.

“We knew it was going to be tough and we don’t take anything for granted,” said netball director Greenway.

“This team is so talented but we have got to show that fight.

“Sometimes when it isn’t going our way we can go into our shells.

“I said to the players at the end of the third quarter that we have got to be better, and I thought we showed great fight at the end.

“We’ve learnt a lot the past few weeks.

“We need to stay at the same performance level for the full 60 minutes.

“We’re scoring lots of goals but come the semi-final we need to have more discipline to push on and take control of games.”

The game opened with a series of misplaced passes from both sides and Mavericks were first to get on the board.

George Fisher gave Wasps the edge that allowed them to build a slender lead – using her athletic ability to rein in passes, make space in the circle and score for her side.

As the visitors’ defence focused on Fisher, opportunities opened up for Natalie Haythornthwaite to extend the home side’s lead to six at the end of the first quarter.

Sam May opened the second quarter with a flying interception which set the tone for Wasps and with Greenway finding success in feeding the circle, her team’s lead soon reached double figures.

But Mavericks worked their way back into the game with physical mid-court play, disrupting their hosts and as a result holding their half-time deficit to six goals.

The visitors kept their momentum going after the break, halving the lead within two minutes, with Greenway substituted at half-time.

As Wasps’ mistake-filled quarter continued, Mavericks drew level before Greenway’s return reignited her side’s attack.

A late goal from Karyn Bailey put the visitors within one, with the game hanging in the balance ahead of the final 15 minutes.

The teams then exchanged goals at the start of the final period.

Veteran shooter Rachel Dunn helped the home side keep pace with Mavericks, creating space in the circle to keep Wasps in-front.

Two quickfire interceptions from Jade Clarke turned the tide, with the hosts taking advantage of the additional possessions to build a seven-goal lead and secure the win.

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