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R11: Storm Vs Stars

Severn Stars were defeated 68-52 by Surrey Storm, who were pushing for a place in the play-offs.

Severn Stars started brightly, ending the first quarter ahead by three, but Storm produced a strong display in the second half at the Surrey Sports Park on Sunday (April 3) to move into fourth place in the Vitality Netball Superleague.

Stars came out of the blocks firing as the strong shooting partnership between Cat Tuivaiti and Paige Reed proved to be too much for the Storm defence. It was not long before Tuivaiti produced her signature no look passes and found Reed who converted her shot to draw a four-goal lead.

Despite being down, Player of the Match, Proscovia Peace, ended the first quarter with a great last-minute goal as she picked up the ball in space to convert a quick buzzer beater shot, taking the score to 13-16 in Stars’ favour.

The away side continued their positive performance into the second quarter, increasing their lead to five goals through Reed, bringing the score to 24-19. Stars’ new signing Tuivaiti demonstrated her class continuously as she battled off Leah Middleton and held her space under the post where captain Leota found her and she was able to capitalise with a goal.

Despite a rather slow start from her team, Peace remained a shining light for Storm as they began to thread the attack through the Ugandan goal shooter. Peace continued to be a problem for Stars defenders Lucy Herdman and Dee Bolakoro, netting four consecutive goals to put her side marginally ahead at the break, 31-30.

Stars made an abundance of changes at half-time as Tuivaiti, Katie Harris, Iman Thomas and Bolakoro dropped to the bench for Issy Eaton, Reed, Nicole Humphrys and Summer Artman. However, a few early goals consecutively for Storm provided a five-goal lead as they began to run away with the game. A couple of misplaced passes and shots from the away side and Storm growing even more in confidence saw them start to put the game out of reach with a 10-goal lead at the end of the quarter, 50-40.

In the final 15 minutes, Stars continued to push with fast play between the midcourt which eventually found its way to Tuivaiti who converted her shot with ease. However, Storm didn’t take their foot off the accelerator. As Stars continued to battle, Tuivaiti produced another no look looping pass which found Leota in space and reclaimed the ball to dispatch her shot. Storm looked to instantly react, but Frankie Wells’ shot only circled the rim with Herdman first to react and overturn the play. With five minutes to go, both sides made changes, but it was Storm who extended the lead to 68-52 as the final buzzer sounded.

Pic: Eva Gilbert.

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