ZEO Netball Superleague: Hertfordshire Mavericks beat Celtic Dragons 51-44 in Cardiff
Hertfordshire Mavericks recorded a handsome 51-44 victory over the Celtic Dragons in Cardiff on Friday night.
Last Updated: 14/03/14 10:23pm
The visitors were always in control of the match, winning every quarter, and pushed on just when it mattered to deny the hosts an opportunity to join them in fourth position in the standings.
Mavericks took a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter against a resilient Dragons' side, who had fought back from 18 goals down to beat the Yorkshire Jets last time out.
Kadeen Corbin and Sophie Hankin were doing an exceptional job at pressing the Dragons high up on the court, stepping and body checking at the right times.
A clever defensive zone set up in the middle of the court was causing problems with the feed to Grenada ace 'Timmy' Cato.
There was a momentum swing during the second quarter with the home side inspired by a large home crowd in Cardiff, as they reduced the deficit to just two points.
The unorthodox Hankin was proving illusive though as she picked up some valuable goals.
But the Welsh outfit kept it to 24-22 thanks in large to the hardworking Bethan Dyke, despite Hertfordshire having a 77 per cent shooting accuracy and more turnovers.
Rose Morgan-Smith and Sasha Corbin were working hard around the circle which allowed them to open up a 10-point gap in what proved to be a match-winning third quarter.
The Mavericks made their opportunities count and kept the Dragons at bay in the final quarter to take maximum points.
Player of the match Layla Guscoth told Sky Sports: "We kept going into a 10ish goal lead and then we'd let them back in. It's a bit of a characteristic trait of ours at the moment, so we definitely need to learn, but we need to push on from that."
In the other game of the night, Yorkshire Jets defeated Loughborough Lightning 68-50 to leapfrog the Dragons into fifth spot.
Mavericks now head to Manchester Thunder on Monday while the Celtic Dragons go to Lightning on Thursday.