Severn Stars 32, Team Bath 45
Severn Stars put up a good battle against Team Bath in the second South West Derby of the season.
Team Bath went into Friday night’s game, at the Copperbox Arena, with confidence, knowing they had already qualified for the Vitality Netball Super League (VNSL) semi-finals, and took the chance to change up their Wing Attack and Goal Defence positions to give their squad members Kirsty Harris and Tash Pavelin, a chance to start the game. Severn Stars changed up their attacking line up, bringing University of Gloucestershire student Jane Taylor to Goal Attack for the start.
With a 19 goal win earlier in the season when the two teams met, Bath took an early two goal lead and finished the first quarter ahead at 12-7. There were changes to the second quarter from Stars, bringing Kyra Jones to Centre, Paige Reed to Goal Attack and Dee Bolakoro to Goal Keeper, and despite a miscommunication on the Stars’ centre pass, the team seemed to sense they were still in the contest. A long feed in from Jones at Wing Defence to Rowe at Goal Shooter lifted the Stars team’s confidence. Confusion between the umpire and players from both sides brought the second quarter to a slow end, finishing 22-16 to Team Bath.
The third quarter saw Lucy Harris and Jane Taylor return to the court for Severn Stars, with University of Worcester student Lucy Herdman returning to Goal Keeper, and Dee Bolakoro moving to Goal Defence. Team Bath also made changes, bringing Abi Robson to Wing Defence and Layla Guscoth to Goal Defence. A footwork call on Stars’ Centre was punished by Team Bath who seemed more settled with the changes and were able to bring out an 8 goal lead. Another error on Stars’ Centre saw the ball fly off the back line and again Team Bath crept out a further lead, scoring off the turnover and their own centre. The error rate for both sides seemed to spike as the third quarter finished 23-34 to Team Bath.
Stars made further changes into the fourth quarter with Immy Thomas returning to Goal Defence, and Bolakoro moving back to Goal Keeper. Stars were on a role and a feed from Leota saw the lead cut to 10 goals once again. Great hustle in the circle by Thomas and Bolakoro for Stars won a back line ball but Rowe was unable to convert. With 30 seconds remaining Severn Stars showed what they were capable of with triangle set up and fast hands from Leota resulting in a goal. The final score finished 45-32. The iPro Hydrate Player of the Match was Kim Borger from Team Bath.
Stars’ Head Coach, Melissa Bessell, said: “We did not want them to score over 15 in a quarter which we held them to, so really pleased with that one. We said we wanted to give them a good battle, and that is what we did. We know there are things that we need to clean up, for us it’s about taking this forward with Thunder.”
Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, will face Manchester Thunder in the second game of the weekend, on Saturday, May 29 at 4pm. For more information on Severn Stars, visit the website www.severnstars.co.uk.