Georgia Lees enjoys a happy birthday as starring role sends Saracens Mavericks to second in Netball Superleague

PUBLISHED: 18:29 18 February 2019

Saracens Mavericks' Kadeen Corbin shows great athleticism to grab a high ball. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHY

Saracens Mavericks' Kadeen Corbin shows great athleticism to grab a high ball. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHY

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Birthday girl Georgia Lees led the way in a starring performance as Saracens Mavericks won 68-45 against Team Bath to move second in the Netball Superleague.

Razia Quashie gets up to tip the ball away from Team Bath's reach. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHYRazia Quashie gets up to tip the ball away from Team Bath's reach. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHY

The attacker had turned 25 and the celebrations would have been boosted by a player of the match display full of quick hands, constant availability and that magic touch.

But it was just part of a superb all-round display from the Hertfordshire side who played this home game away from their spiritual Hatfield base at the University of Essex in Colchester.

Director of netball Kat Ratnapala fielded an unchanged starting seven to the previous game, a narrow loss to league leaders Wasps, while Bath travelled without their England Roses pair, Serena Guthrie and Eboni Usoro-Brown.

That though was just a small factor in the final result as Mavericks dominated proceedings for the majority of the game.

Razia Quashie tries to block a Team Bath shot for Saracens Mavericks. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHYRazia Quashie tries to block a Team Bath shot for Saracens Mavericks. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHY

With Michelle Drayne, Jo Trip and Razia Quashie providing a rock solid wall at the back, the black and purple outfit pounced on seemingly every Bath mistake to end the first quarter leading 18-10.

The visitors did up their game in the second quarter, making the transition up the court far more difficult for Saracens, but that didn’t stop the lead extending by a further five points to 35-22 at half-time.

And the second half action was pretty much more of the same.

An excellent performance from Michelle Drayne continued to grow with intercepts, loose pick-ups galore and an attacking presence that any coach would be proud of.

Saracens Mavericks' George Fisher lines up yet another point against Team Bath. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHYSaracens Mavericks' George Fisher lines up yet another point against Team Bath. Picture: STEVE PORTER PHOTOGRAPHY

It was 53-31 and game over by the end of the third but that was nothing more than a fair reflection of the contest at that point.

Bath’s pride made the final quarter the closest of the game but it was still a comfortable win and one which saw Karyn Bailey make an eye-catching cameo with her first appearance of the season late on.

Ratnapala said: “I was pleased with some of the consistency that we put out but we are by no means are we the finished article.

“We’re still building on every game and I’ll take that result”.

Saracens’ are back at their Herts Sports Village HQ on Monday against London Pulse.

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