NSL R2: Stars 51 – Sirens 60
Severn Stars Defeated in Tight Encounter Against Sirens
Severn Stars suffered a defeat to Strathclyde Sirens who came from behind to win 51-60 with a scintillating final quarter performance.
A thrilling fixture in the Netball Super League saw Severn Stars dominate early on in their first home match of the season in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday (February 18).
But Stars were pegged back to within one goal going into the last 15 minutes, and Sirens’ play in the final quarter proved too much for them.
The opening minutes of the match was goal for goal, but it was the away side that cracked first after Beth Goodwin’s misplaced shot was met by goalkeeper Jo Trip. The hosts continued to pressure Sirens at both ends of the court to create a two-goal lead. Defender Rebekah Airey provided a crucial interception for Stars after spotting Beth Dix’s attempted quick pass before sending a looping ball into the arms of shooter Sigi Burger who calmly converted. A fast-paced centre routine from Stars’ attacking players saw Burger in acres of space unmarked and she duly converted to end the first quarter, 16-13 to Stars.
Head Coach Trip’s side continued to pressure the Sirens’ attack, forcing them into errors, which helped Stars extend their lead to seven. However, the away side began to find their feet and Stars’ comfortable lead became marginal following a flurry of goals. Despite this burst of intensity from their opponents, the home side retained their composure within the attacking third as Namana and Burger linked up for a one-two. Stars took a slim 30-27 lead into half-time.
After the break, Sirens’ summer recruit Stella Oyella entered the fray in attack. Within no time she was off the mark, bringing her side within one goal, but Stars’ defenders Airey and Trip continued to narrow the angles for Sirens’ attacking duo. Jess Haynes, replacing an injured Airey, wasted no time in getting involved, pressuring Oyella into a mistake before regaining possession, sending her side on the attack with Burger converting. However, Player of the Match Oyella showcased her defensive abilities as she created a turnover after intercepting the Stars’ centre pass, and as the third quarter closed Stars only had a narrow 42-41 lead.
Sirens came firing out of the blocks in the final 15 minutes and an early turnover from their defender Towera Vinkhumbo saw the side draw back level. A quick centre pass routine from the Glasgow-based side caught Stars out and they went ahead for the first time since the opening minute, though this was quickly cancelled out. But newly invigorated Sirens drew a 10-goal lead with just minutes to go. A quick-fire double from Stars provided them with a glimmer of hope, but this was short-lived as unforced errors began to creep into Stars’ play, allowing Sirens to leave with a 51-60 victory.
Match Report: Severn Stars
IMG: Clive Jones PR