SEVERN Stars head coach Mo’onia Gerrard admitted her side must be more accountable for their performances after they slipped to a 61-39 defeat away to Team Northumbria in the Vitality Netball Superleague on Saturday.
Stars were going in search of back-to-back wins after an impressive victory against Sirens, but Team Northumbria, who had lost all six of their previous league matches, led from the start and never surrendered their advantage at the Sports Central Arena in Newcastle.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game heading to Newcastle. Northumbria took the opportunities when they came and converted them into points,” said Gerrard.
“It was a very disappointing effort by the team. We have to be more accountable about our attitude and performance.”
A slow start from the visitors allowed Northumbria to settle into the game and take an early lead, as goal defence Jodie Gibson and goal keeper Josie Janz-Dawson failed to thwart the hosts’ shooters.
Entering the second quarter 16-10 down, Stars finally took a foothold in the game as goal shooter Afeisha Noel nailed a blistering pass through three defenders, before receiving the ball back and sinking the shot.
Trailing 31-25 at the start of the third quarter, Gerrard made numerous changes, moving captain Laura Malcolm from centre to wing defence and Sophie Carter coming off the bench to play at centre.
Yasmin Hodge-England also came on at goal attack, but the reshuffle proved fruitless as errors crept back into Stars’ game.
Things got worse for the Worcester side when Noel was forced off following a knee injury.
Team Northumbria had built a healthy 44-28 lead entering the final period, which forced Gerrard to make more changes. Rebecca Tildesley replaced Noel at goal shooter, and Lauren Brooks came on at centre and Rachel Sweet at goal keeper.
But despite a slight improvement from the visitors in the final proceedings, Northumbria saw the game out to seal an impressive 22-point advantage.
Speaking after the game, captain Laura Malcolm said: “It was a very disappointing performance. We failed to play the netball we know we can play and we’re still chasing consistency.
“But one positive to take from the performance is that all 12 players hit the court, with replacements coming off the bench to provide an impact.”
Stars take on Hertfordshire Mavericks at the Hertfordshire Sports Village on Saturday (tip-off 6pm).