Severn Stars 40, Strathclyde Sirens 48
Severn Stars were unable to sustain a bright start and early lead as they fell to defeat at the hands of Strathclyde Sirens in the side’s final game of the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
Though Stars opened up a healthy lead in the first quarter, Sirens pulled back the deficit to just two by half-time and then went on to win the match 40-48.
As the first quarter got underway in front of the University of Gloucestershire Arena crowd on Sunday (May 29), both teams were quick to put their first goals on the board. But Stars were quick to capitalise on Sirens’ errors to go four goals up through defensive rebounds from Lucy Herdman. Sirens were able to bring back the deficit to one goal, but Stars’ goal shooter Cat Tuivaiti was on firing form to nicely put away goals for Stars to extend the lead to 15-11 after the first quarter.
However, a string of errors from Stars enabled Sirens to bring the score back to a two-goal game. Lucy Herdman continued her defensive efforts making another interception for Stars that Paige Reed duly converted. Sirens had a run of three goals in the final minutes of the game which saw the first half end with Stars still narrowly in front, 23-21.
Stars’ head Coach, Melissa Bessell, was quick to make changes in the defensive end after the interval with Iman Thomas replacing Dee Bolakoro in defence. Stars goal attack, Nicole Humphrys, flew out for an intercept in the Sirens attacking end that Stars were able to patiently convert into a goal. But the away side was able to bring the score back level to 30 goals apiece and, with an error from Stars, the visitors were able to draw a lead out to two goals in the final seconds of the quarter, 31-33.
Stars fought hard to keep the goal line within two goals at the opening of the final quarter, but Sirens made some crucial interceptions for their side. With errors from Stars side, Sirens extended their lead. Further changes for Stars saw Issy Eaton replacing Cat Tuivaiti in the shooting circle. Fellow shooter Reed was able to link well with Eaton in the last stages of the match putting some final goals on the board, but it just wasn’t enough as Sirens took the win, 40-48.
For more information about Severn Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, visit www.severnstars.co.uk.