Match Report: VNSL Round 7: Saracens Mavericks v London Pulse

Written by Emily Marshall

It was an unfortunate loss for Pulse in a thrilling encounter against Saracens Mavericks, who emerged winners with a 39-32 final score.

The same starting seven from the impressive win over Celtic Dragons stepped onto court to continue where they left off, however it wasn’t meant to be overall as Pulse struggled to cherish turnover and push on from good passages.

In the first quarter it took a while for both teams to settle, taking over two minutes for the first goal to be scored. The defensive unit were putting plenty of pressure on every pass from Mavs, with Halimat Adio being dominant again in the circle.

The young attacking end were against a formidable duo in the circle in Jo Trip and Raz Quashie, who made it difficult for Rothwell at GA, Ellie Rattu in C, Ash Dekker at WA to find Burger as a target shooter.

Rattu and Dekker were doing excellent work outside the circle to counteract the pressure Rothwell and Burger were under. Mavs took an early lead, but Pulse clawed it back despite the extensive pressure in the attack end, with the first quarter ending 10-9 to Mavs.

Mavericks furthered their lead at the start of the second quarter with a run of turnovers. Pulse was not down and out though, with Everitt and Adio alongside Fadoju making Mavs struggle in the end third, generating turnovers but the attack end could not capitalise.

As Mavs stretched their lead, Kira Rothwell took charge of the attacking end and was driving to open up the space and allow the feeders to look into the circle. But the defensive pressure of Mavs never went away as the errors began to creep in for Pulse.

Heading into half-time Pulse went into the third quarter 6 goals down but kept fighting out the game to win the third quarter by 2 goals, ending in 30-26.

The third quarter saw a much better performance from Pulse as they won the quarter. Sigi Burger began to open up more and get confidence against Quashie, whilst Rothwell continued to excel in the circle, shooting at over 90%. A defensive change with Everitt into WD and Keable into GD made it difficult for Mavs to gain momentum as they couldn’t find a way to push their lead forward.

The all-important fourth quarter started with a turnover for Pulse, followed up by scoring of centre pass as the deficit was reduced to two, with every player giving everything they had to gain the lead.

Fadoju came on at GD to try adding to the turnovers as she put pressure on every pass Mavs made but unfortunately didn’t fall into Pulse hands as the opposition used all their experience to keep the scoreboard ticking over despite pressure all down the court from Pulse.

It was a tough loss for Pulse, as they chased the lead for all four quarters but couldn’t quite get over the line. They go again next week in a double header against Team Bath and then Leeds Rhinos.