21st Jan, 2019

Stars thump Northumbria for first win in five

Aaron Wise 24th May, 2017

SEVERN Stars goal keeper Rachel Sweet hopes a first win in five matches will be the catalyst to end the Vitality Netball Superleague season in style.

The Worcester-based side ended a run of four defeats with a resounding 64-47 victory over Team Northumbria on Friday.

Sweet put the result down to a strong team performance.

“It was so important to get the win against Northumbria. Losing becomes a habit and we didn’t want that habit to stick, particularly in front of our home fans,” she said.

“I think we did what we set out to do. We played as a team and we were so positive throughout the game from start to finish.

“We just need to push on and hopefully we can finish the season on a high.”

In front of a large crowd at the University of Worcester Arena, Stars dominated throughout to register their second highest goal tally of the season.

The hosts found their rhythm in the early stages as they moved 11-8 ahead following incisive passing in the attacking third.

Entering the second quarter 15-11 up, Stars continued their impressive attacking display as goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell evaded the close marking of defensive duo Tuaine Keenan and Iman Thomas to carve out chances which she finished with precision.

But Northumbria enjoyed a dominant spell six minutes before the break and hit back to level the game at 20-20.

Stars rallied and a flying interception from wing defence Jodie Gibson stemmed the flow, before goal attack Iona Darroch fired in five consecutive goals to secure a 28-23 half-time advantage.

Stars’ new signing Clare Elsley made her debut in the second half, and the former England international and four-time Superleague winner made an immediate impact at centre when her clever pass allowed Darroch to score.

Further skillful play from attacking trio Laura Malcolm, Darroch and Cardwell stretched the hosts’ lead to ten points midway through the third quarter.

Relentless pressure from defensive duo Josie Janz-Dawson and Sweet stifled the visitors’ goal shooter Georgia Rowe, which helped Stars to keep their double-digit lead entering the final quarter.

The hosts’ attacking dominance was at full throttle in the final 15 minutes, as Cardwell and Darroch confidently fired home a flurry of goals to secure an impressive 17-point victory.

Stars take on Hertfordshire Mavericks in their final home game at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday (tip off 7.30pm).

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