SEVERN Stars will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Wasps Netball at the University of Worcester Arena to bring the curtain down on the Vitality Netball Superleague season.
Saturday’s clash will see the Stars look to finish on a high after they were defeated 62-48 on the road by a Saracens Mavericks side determined to make their case for a place in the top four.
Despite positive play which saw them leading after the first quarter, Stars were unable to live with Mavericks as they stepped up their game in the final quarter, which allowed them to pull decisively clear.
There was a welcome return for Iona Darroch, who had missed the Easter Big Weekend due to illness. She made some flying interceptions in the centre court and good link up play with Lucy Harris, Maryka Holtzhausen and
Georgia Rowe in the attacking end to help the Stars end the first quarter 11-13 up.
Mavericks’ defence started the second quarter well with Jo Trip making two vital turnovers in the Stars’ attacking end which enabled them to pull in front. Maryka Holthausen’s long range effort right on the whistle of half-time however brought the gap back to five at the half-time interval, at 30-25.
The start of the third quarter saw Stars’ Ella Powell-Davies move to centre, Iona Darroch at wing attack and Leah Kennedy,who made her Stars debut last weekend, on at wing defence, making it a more defensive line up. It took a while for the new line up to settle, and Mavericks capitalised on this, pulling away to an eight goal lead. Stars managed to pull it back to 45-41 at the end of the third quarter, finishing off with a five second centre pass to goal move that Holthausen scored on the whistle.
An unsettled start to the fourth quarter from Stars saw Mavericks pull away again. A flamboyant pass from Mavericks’ Corbin into the circle lifted the home side as did fresh legs taking to court from the bench. Paige Reed entered the game at goal shooter, replacing Rowe, and quickly added to the score sheet, but Maverick had secured a comfortable lead by this point.
Stars applied pressure right until the final whistle, but could not find a way back and the home side took victory.
“We knew Mavericks were going to be tough opposition to beat. It was great to be able to challenge them for three quarters and there were several times where we could have gone ahead and pushed on but we didn’t capitalise on our chances,” Darroch said.
“Mavericks came out fighting in the fourth quarter and it was disappointing that we couldn’t adjust to stay in the game. It think we showed a lot of improvement though from our game against them earlier in the season and there were a lot of positives to take into our final game this week.”