Severn Stars hosted third place London Pulse at the University of Worcester Arena in round 16 Saturday 30th May
Stars kicked off the scoring after it didn’t take long to see a Cat Tuivaiti signature move as she found captain Liana Leota in space with a no look overhead pass in which she then received back and converted.
After a crucial interception from Stars goalkeeper Summer Artman, Stars looked to counterattack at pace but after a misplaced pass from Katie Harris, Pulse’s Funmi Fudoju, who returned from injury, was there to cut out the attack.
A miss from pulse saw Stars’ Lucy Herdman first to the rebound and there to clear the danger.
Stars began to grow into the game as they looked to overturn Pulse’s centre pass through Harris after her side produced a series of fast paced passes and quick releases, but Pulse instantly replied through their shooters. After Pulse’s quick start and clinical conversions, the visitors led 14-10 at the end of Quarter 1.
Heading into Q2, Melissa Bessell looked to switch up the attacking duo as Paige Reed took the place of Harris.
Tuivaiti continued to inject her flair into the game as she found Bethan Dyke with another no look long pass, who then drew the defence in and threaded the ball into Reed, scoring and making an instant impact.
With Pulse extending their lead to six, Tuivaiti looked to reduce the deficit as she used her strength to hold off the defence and claimed Leota’s pass, bringing the score to 20-15.
As the visitor’s intensity began to improve, so did Stars as a long ball from Pulse’s mid court was cut out by Artman after she was quick to read the play. A second interception from Stars defence came minutes later as Herdman, this time, was quick to react and created the turnover.
As the buzzer chimed for half time, Pulse led by six goals with the score line reading 27-21.
Heading into Q3, Pulse looked to work through the gears as they began to take control of the game. Drawing a greater lead, their shooters continued to be clinical with their shooting after receiving fast one-twos between the mid court.
Stars, however, remained defensively alert as Artman produced a double interception within minutes as she read the play of the attacking duo and produced yet another turnover.
Substitute Isabelle Eaton looked to make an instant impact as she held her space and found Reed, who converted the turnover. The goal attack continued to link up well with Eaton as she produced a spin off the back of her defender to then receive the ball in from Leota and score.
In the closing stages, Stars looked to find Eaton with a looping pass, but Fudoju was first to it and cut out the dangerous ball in. The quarter ended with Pulse still out in front at 43-28.
Bessell looked to freshen things up in the final quarter as Chloe Carchrie replaced Dyke in the centre position. It was not long before the youngster was involved as she drilled a chest pass into Reed who scored.
Despite their lead, Pulse didn’t take their foot off the gas as Carchrie looked to find Reed once again, but the quick release was met by the Pulse defence and turned over. The passage of play between the Pulse mid court was faultless and in no time, the ball was in the net.
Within the final few minutes, Eaton began to find her flow as she converted three consecutive goals but it was only enough to reduce the deficit to 38-53 at the final buzzer.
The second game of the bank holiday weekend saw Stars make the long trip to Glasgow for Monday night’s game vs Strathclyde Sirens and both teams were desperate for a win.
The first quarter was an intense start for both sides but Stars were able to take an early lead over the home side, with the quarter ending 10-15 to Stars.
The second quarter sirens began to respond to the flowing Stars side but it wasn’t enough with stars edging out the lead at half time 26-29.
Stars extended their lead to seven goals, but Sirens were quick to turn wrongs into rights and the final score ended 39-42 in favour of Stars.
The final quarter was a big one and though Stars maintained their lead, Sirens kept coming back to within one goal at several times but Stars maintained composure to see out the win 49-54 in Glasgow.