R14: Stars Vs Wasps
Victory for Stars in Easter Double Header.
Severn Stars emerged from a double header Easter weekend with victory over Midlands rivals Wasps Netball.
Although the side was unable to contend with the fast pace of Saracens Mavericks in its first game of a busy weekend, which saw all teams come together at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena, the team took a win at the second time of asking in what proved a thrilling local derby.
The Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown saw all teams play two matches, with Stars kicking off the quest for a win against Mavericks. Both sides came out of the blocks firing with Stars’ Liana Leota and Paige Reed linking up with a fast one-two pass. Mavericks worked the ball well in the attacking third and, despite a late passage of good play between Leota and shooter Cat Tuivaiti, led 13-8 after the first quarter.
Both teams struggled to convert turnovers until Mavericks netted. Their attacking players Sasha and Kadeen Corbin linked up well, while Stars made defensive changes, but fell further behind by half-time, 31-19.
Stars looked for an instant reply after the interval, however, attempts to play a low ball on the edge of the shooting circle were intercepted by Mavericks defender Jodie Gibson. Mavericks’ tempo increased but Stars’ Summer Artman leapt in to cut out the danger. Heading into the final quarter they held a firm lead, 46-32.
In the opening minutes of the next quarter, Mavericks defenders Razia Quashie and Gibson tracked the run of Harris, which left Tuivaiti in space to capitalise. A series of fast build up plays between the Mavericks mid court saw them add to their tally and, though Stars remained determined to the end, Mavericks took the win, 58-44.
Less than 24 hours later, Stars players were back on court to face Wasps. They made a strong start and were up 3-2 after five minutes thanks to a turnover from Lucy Herdman at Goal Defence. The tables soon turned with Wasps two goals ahead, however turnovers from Stars’ defence soon put the home side back in front, 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Stars continued where they left off with the midcourt linking well together. A Leota special no look pass found Harris alone under the post. Wasps made a flurry of changes to respond to a flowing Stars side and began to fight back, but Stars ended the quarter on a high, 25-20.
In the second half, both teams were forcing errors and turnovers from each other, but the link up of Stars shooters Tuivaiti and Reed worked well in the circle despite pressure from Wasps defenders. Stars maintained their lead after the quarter 40-35. It was goal for goal in the final quarter opening minutes, but Stars’ defence continued to work hard in the circle forcing errors for the Wasps side, securing the win 56-47.
Severn Stars midcourter Bethan Dyke, awarded Player of the Match, said: “We were really disappointed with our performance on Saturday, but it was great to put out a four quarter performance today against Wasps. We knew our error rate was high against Mavericks so we really just wanted to look after the ball in our game today.”
Severn Stars, which is a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, next play Team Bath away on Saturday, April 23. For more information visit www.severnstars.co.uk.
PIC : Ben Lumley