16th Oct, 2019

Bird salutes team spirit in perfect reply

Rob George 12th Apr, 2019

HEAD coach Sam Bird praised her side after they bounced back from a tough week to record their first back-to-back wins of the season.

After their 53-52 last-ditch victory over Celtic Dragons the previous weekend, the Stars followed up with a 49-40 victory over Strathclyde Sirens at the University of Gloucestershire sports arena.

It was the perfect response to being deducted three points following a rule infringement.

Stars had maintained a narrow lead from the early part of the match against Strathclyde, but in the last quarter were able to pull away decisively to secure the win.

“I’m really happy with our first back-to-back win. I was very pleased with how the girls finished the last quarter as they had a run of nine,” Bird said.

Stars initially struggled to push through the court. During the first quarter there were lots of defensive contacts from both sides, with Sirens putting on early pressure.

However, after some incredibly quick centre passes and long feeds from centre Lucy Harris, Stars managed to end the first quarter leading 13-11.

Sam Cook and Ella Powell-Davies maintained a strong defence, forcing Sirens to play the ball around much more, and Stars maintained their narrow lead going into the half-time interval at 26-25.

Stars’ new signing, Leah Kennedy, made her debut at goal keeper with Cook at goal defence and Jodi-Ann Ward to wing defence. Although the team maintained an active defence, with Cook securing six turnovers, Sirens did not let go. The last 30 seconds of the third quarter were frantic, as both teams tried to force the long ball into their shooters, leaving the score at 36-34.

There were no changes heading into the final quarter for Stars, who successfully secured a run of four points, but Sirens disrupted their flow by swapping out their centre and wing defence and called for a new ball.

After some great feeds by Harris and Rowe alongside a strong defence by Cook, who secured three clean rebounds in succession, Stars pulled ahead and secured success.

Stars travel to face top-of-the-league Manchester Thunder on Saturday (April 13) before tackling third-placed Team Bath University of Gloucestershire sports arena on Saturday, April 20.

 

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