Vitality Superleague Round Three: Saracens Mavericks and Severn Stars victorious
Mavericks too strong for Loughborough Lightning, while Severn Stars sink Celtic Dragons
Last Updated: 25/01/19 11:19pm
Saracens Mavericks underlined their Vitality Superleague credentials with an impressive 64-51 victory over Loughborough Lightning on Friday night.
Having started the season with defeat to Manchester Thunder at Super 10, Mavericks have bounced back in style with a pair of convincing victories.
Surrey Storm were dispatched last week with a 20-goal victory, and on Friday Kat Ratnapala's new-look squad were even more impressive, recording a dominant win over Lightning that was underpinned by a fast start.
Mavs led 5-1 early on and maintained that advantage into the second quarter, turning a five-goal lead into a 35-24 lead at the break.
Sara Bayman's Lightning squad, who picked up their first win of the season against Severn Stars last week, produced a spirited third quarter which they took 13-9 and reduced the deficit to seven goals heading into the final 15 minutes.
Seven became five early in the last quarter, but some sharp combination play from Sasha and Kadeen Corbin, and typically ice-cool shooting from George Fisher, ensured that Mavericks pulled away down the stretch to move up to second in the Superleague.
Thunder and Wasps are both in action over the weekend and having played only one game each can overtake Mavs, while for Lightning, runners-up in each of the last two seasons, defeat underlined that a much-changed line-up will take their time to gel
Also on Friday night, Severn Stars ensured it was a memorable night for their first ever game at the University of Gloucester by beating Celtic Dragons.
A 57-40 victory was enough for the Stars to claim their first win of the season, having narrowly been edged out by London Pulse and Loughborough in the opening two rounds.
Jamaican defender Jodi-Ann Ward excelled again for Stars, keeping Dragons attacking threat quiet on her way to the Player of the Match award, while at the other end of the court Georgia Rowe and Maryka Holtzhousen provided a lively attacking threat.
Rowe ensured Stars went into the break with a seven-goal lead while Holtzhausen took over in the third quarter as the hosts extended their advantage into double figures.
Dragons rallied but the occasional flash was not enough as Stars delighted the University of Gloucester Arena with an impressive all-round performance to leave only Surrey Storm, in action on Sky Sports on Monday night, as the only team in this year's Superleague without a victory.
Watch Team Bath take on Surrey Storm in the Vitality Netball Superleague, live on Sky Sports Mix, Arena, and Main Event from 6.45pm on Monday.