SEVERN Stars fell to a third successive Vitality Netball Superleague defeat with a resounding 63-42 loss to Manchester Thunder at the University of Worcester Arena.
In their fifth encounter with a top five team over six games, Stars were swept aside in a decisive third quarter as Manchester built an 11-point lead which they never surrendered.
Stars wing defence Jodie Gibson, who joined the club from Thunder, admitted her side’s inconsistency paved the way for a comfortable Manchester victory.
“In patches we stuck to our game plan and executed it really well. It was an improvement from our performances in the defeats to Team Bath and Wasps,” she said.
“We were just too inconsistent against Manchester. I don’t think the score was a fair reflection on the game, but we just can’t allow teams to chip away at us and build those leads. It’s very frustrating,” she added.
The hosts started confidently and built an early 3-0 lead, but Thunder hit back through goal shooter Joyce Mvulaa to edge 8-7 ahead.
Entering the second quarter trailing 13-11, Stars lifted their performance as their relentless defensive pressing caused several turnovers from which goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell and goal attack Iona Darroch were able to capitalise.
But a late flurry from Thunder saw the visitors extend their lead to 29-23 at the interval.
Manchester carried their momentum into the third quarter as clever play from wing attack Liana Leota and lethal finishing from Mvula helped them build a 13-point lead.
Stars continued to battle and ended the quarter on a high with Cardwell notching three successive baskets after some superb defensive play from Gibson.
Yasmin Hodge-England then came on at goal attack to inject some much-needed energy into the hosts’ attacking play, but an experienced Thunder side proved too clinical in front of goal as they wrapped up a commanding win.
Stars travel to Scotland to take on Sirens at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on Monday (7pm).