3rd Apr, 2020

Opening defeat was very much a learning process, warns Stars boss

Rob George 29th Feb, 2020

SEVERN Stars chief Melissa Bessell said her side have ‘lots to work on’ after errors in the second quarter sent them to a 70-49 defeat against Saracens Mavericks in the opening Vitality Netball Superleague game of the season.

Despite a bright start, when Stars took a six-goal lead, the clash was turned on its head in the second quarter with a 16-goal swing to Mavericks, and Stars could not recover.

Bessell said “The first quarter was outstanding and a great game to watch. We learnt a lot as a team, understanding that when you’re playing teams of this calibre, and you’re doing as well you are, they’re going to come back at you with a hard plan and we didn’t make any adjustments for that.

“We have lots to work on moving forward to the Manchester game next week.”

Stars face the Manchester Thunder at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday (February 29).

The new-look Stars were quick out of the blocks in the first quarter against Mavericks and were eager to make crucial turnovers to edge out an early lead.

Stars’ attack, which consisted of Georgia Rowe, Paige Reed and new signing Liana Leota, linked together nicely down court enabling their goals to go in.

But Stars’ goal keeper Towera Vinkhumbo made a number of intercepts, ensuring they finished the quarter leading 11-17.

In the second quarter, a string of errors from Stars allowed Mavericks back into the game and they drew level.

Bessell changed Lucy Harris at centre for another new signing in Bethan Dyke to find answers to the run of goals from their rivals but could not do anything to stop the relentless scoring as the Mavericks extended their lead to 34-25.

After the break, Ella Powell-Davies came on at goal defence for Ama Agbeze and Stars’ goal keeper Vinkhimbo continued to try and stop the flow of Mavericks’ attack with some flying intercepts.

Stars were able to get more goals through the net with a high percentage of shots, but Mavericks, finding England Roses shooter, Georgina Fisher, increased their lead to 53-37 at the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter which was a goal for goal affair, with Reed finding confidence in her long-range shots, but Mavericks produced some early turnovers.

Stars’ mid-court which consisted of Wales internationals Nia Jones and Dyke connected nicely with Leota, who was able to find shooters, but at times the ball fell short of the net.

Patches of quick play in attack from a well-established Mavericks team menat they were able to link nicely with their shooters Fisher and Kadeen Corbin, to come through 70-49.

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