NETBALL: TAMSIN Greenway admits Wasps Netball’s first ever home win in front of a packed out Ricoh Arena crowd will live long in the memory.
Wasps Netball fought off a brave Hertfordshire Mavericks team to secure a tense 51-47 victory in their home debut in Coventry.
A crowd of 2,057 came out to see Greenway’s side make history and bring top-flight netball back to the West Midlands for the first time in ten years.
The win sees Wasps Netball sit in second place in the Netball Superleague table, ahead of a Midlands-derby with Loughborough Lightning this Saturday March 11.
“I’m really proud of how the players handled the occasion – handling their nerves in front of a big home crowd,” said Greenway.
“The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing and it was fantastic to see so many families cheering the side on – it will live long in the memory for some time.
“It was a close game but a win is a win. I think Mavericks did some great defensive stuff to us today which made it hard for us to extend our lead.
“For the neutral the game was fantastic. We understand we aren’t quite where we want to be yet, but we are still winning which is great.
“There’s no doubt we have had a dream start to the season, but we have a big local derby coming up against a strong Loughborough side, and we’ll need that sort of atmosphere again to help us maintain our unbeaten run.”
The match opened with both teams’ defence forcing missed shots at both ends, but as the match settled down, Wasps wing attack Natalie Haythornthwaite was able to control the attacking third, feeding clinical attacking duo George Fisher and Rachel Dunn.
The impressive shooting display saw Wasps threaten to push out to an early lead, but the visitors kept in touch, closing the first quarter only one point off the pace at 13-12.
Mid-way through the second quarter, Mavericks took their first lead of the game with star goal shooter Vicklyn Joseph troubling the Wasps defenders around the net, but a double-salvo from George Fisher gave Wasps a one point advantage at half-time.
The third quarter brought a change in attacking combinations for Wasps, with Haythornthwaite and Dunn forming a partnership – but the visitors stayed in touch with the home side and the game was perfectly poised at 39-37 going into the final quarter.
Experienced goal shooter Dunn proved the difference as she pushed the home side four points in front as Wasps moved away to take their first home win.
Tickets for Saturday’a match against Loughborough Lightning start from £10 for adults while under-10s go free. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets.