Severn Stars 42 – 53 Team Bath
Severn Stars went into the Easter weekend having won their last three games in a row, but were unable to make it a fourth against a convincing Team Bath side at the University of Gloucestershire Sports Arena
The Severn Stars made five starting line-up changes from their win over top of the table Manchester Thunder last Saturday (13 April) with several players suffering from illness and being ruled out on medical grounds. Team Bath came out firing, were well drilled and took an early lead in the first quarter 12-17.
Stars’ Sam Cook at GD repeatedly tipped shots and Leah Kennedy at GK took several rebounds, but Team Bath extended their lead early into the second quarter 12-22. Shots from Georgia Rowe and Maryka Holtzhausen teased the ring of the net and popped out on occasions, but a couple of long bomb passes from Ella Powell-Davies at C into Holtzhausen saw the sell-out crowd get behind their home side when they needed it. Team Bath kept their cool and increased their lead at the end of the first half, 22-34.
In a bid to get back in the game, Stars rung the changes at half time with five substitutions. Cara-Lea Moseley came on at WA, Paige Reed on at GA, Leah Kennedy moved to GD, Sam Cook to GK and Lucy Harris to WD. Team Bath were patient in attack despite a tight Stars defensive unit. The home side fought hard with their alternate combination, but were frustrated at times as they were unable to penetrate through the final third. Shona O’Dwyer came on as C and Ella Powell-Davies switched to WD with two minutes left of this period as Bath opened up a 27-46 lead at the end of the third quarter.
A run of five goals for Severn Stars opened up the last quarter as Team Bath failed to score for five minutes. Stars began to show more composure, gained confidence and Bath missed several shots to cut the visiting sides’ lead. Team Bath made several changes at 36-51 and Stars fought back to bring the final score to within 11 points, ending 42-53.
Head Coach Sam Bird was proud of the squad. She said: “Although we lost to [Team] Bath this evening I thought we pushed them to the end and we finished strong. We have had extra challenges today with several players being unable to play through illness and injury and a few that played when feeling poorly. All 10 players contributed well to a competitive match and I’m pleased that we put some strong connections out on court with lots to be positive about for tomorrow. Fantastic home crowd again – and well done to Ella [Powell-Davies] for being awarded player of the match.”