SEVERN Stars head coach Mo’onia Gerrard admitted her side’s performance was dull in their 48-42 defeat to Hertfordshire Mavericks in the Vitality Netball Superleague on Friday.
“Every time we’ve come out to play a game this season the girls have shown fire and intensity, but against Hertfordshire it didn’t feel like they were firing when we needed them to,” said Gerrard.
“In the second quarter we shot eight goals. You’re not going to win games by only scoring eight goals in a quarter.
“The overall performance was a bit dull in my eyes.”
In their final regular season game at the University of Worcester Arena, Stars were outmatched by a physical and clinical Mavericks side.
The visitors started brightly as they gained control of the game and edged ahead by two points, courtesy of goal shooter Vicklyn Joseph’s composure in front of goal.
But the hosts rallied and hit back to stem the flow, with goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell netting twice to level the game at 9-9, before further goals by the lethal Joseph handed Mavericks a 14-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The game stayed evenly poised throughout the second quarter as Stars’ attacking prowess was matched by a stubborn Hertfordshire defence, and the hosts entered the interval trailing 25-21.
A slow start to the second half by Stars proved costly, as Mavericks dominated in front of goal to build a double-digit lead after just eight minutes.
But goal defence Rachel Sweet’s flying interception allowed Stars to halt the visitors’ attacking momentum and enabled the team to gain some much-needed possession.
The Worcester hosts continued to rally, with goal attack Iona Darroch and Cardwell proving clinical in front of goal to half the deficit to just five points at 37-32, entering the final quarter.
Incisive play in the attacking third then allowed Darroch to score and give Stars hope of a late comeback, but in a feisty end to the game the hosts struggled to break through a tenacious Mavericks defence.
A last-gasp duo of goals from Cardwell cut the deficit to six, but Hertfordshire held on to secure the victory.
Stars bring the curtain down on their debut Superleague campaign when they take on Manchester Thunder at the Wright Robinson Sports College in Gorton on Saturday (tip off 5pm).