Severn Stars 47, Celtic Dragons 35

Severn Stars secured their second win of the Vitality Netball Superleague season with a strong performance against a hungry Celtic Dragons, 47-35. After opening up an early lead in their first match of a double header Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Stars never relinquished it, extending that advantage significantly in the final 12 minutes.

Stars’ first centre pass, at Studio 001 in Wakefield yesterday (April 4), went straight to goal, shot from afar by goal shooter Georgia Rowe, followed closely by a goal from Dragons’ Amy Clinton. Both teams were going goal for goal, until an injury for Stars’ Bethan Dyke saw the quarter quickly come to a halt. Stars, however, did not let this disrupt their game and a change that brought Chloe Carchrie on at centre saw Stars pull away, ending the quarter 14-10 in front.

The second quarter saw Stars hold onto the lead, with imaginative long passes from Captain Nia Jones and Rowe securing the shot. Responding to consistent shooting from Clinton and Rebekah Robinson for Celtic Dragons, Stars’ defenders Malysha Kelly and Dee Bolakoro stepped up their body on body technique. While the last 20 seconds saw a turnover for Dragons on the Stars’ centre pass to end the quarter, Stars remained 26-18 in front going into half-time.

Returning to court after the interval, every player was fighting for the ball when overturned, finding their respective shooters in the circle and converting goals for their sides. With a great fly intercept from Lucy Herdman, Stars saw the opportunity of Rowe all by herself in the circle to launch a long ball in. Changes

halfway through the quarter saw Jane Taylor on at wing attack for Stars. Despite Dragons winning the quarter 9-7, overall Stars still had a healthy lead going into the final quarter 33-27.

With the final 12 minutes being the last opportunity for Dragons to close the gap, Stars’ fighting attitude won them this game as they in fact extended their advantage. The reactions of goal attack Paige Reed and centre Lucy Harris when goals were scored and balls were turned over proved how much this team wanted the win. Textbook play from Carchrie and Taylor on the circle edge allowed Reed to sink a well-deserved swish shot, the Stars shooter going on to win Player of the Match. The match ended with Stars taking the win, 47-35.

Stars Head Coach, Melissa Bessell, said: “We played really well, and Paige, what a blinder! The players all said prior to the match we need to be accountable for our own jobs and that’s exactly what they did.

We’ve been really upbeat. This team is always upbeat and really positive. We tightened it all up a little bit and it was really nice to watch.”

Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire, next face London Pulse this afternoon (April 5), at 5.15pm. The match is available to watch on Sky Sports or the Sky Sports YouTube channel.