Written by Grace Gunn
Severn Stars return to action this weekend as they welcome Team Bath to the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday, March 4.
Jo Trip’s side will be looking to carry their winning momentum into round five after blowing Celtic Dragons out of the water in the second half of their previous game.
Opponents Bath will also be coming into the game off the back of a win after narrowly defeating Strathclyde Sirens 49-48, earning their first three points of the season.
With that vital win, Bath find themselves sat in ninth place after a tough start to the season following some key departures and changes during the off season.
Bath, currently the most successful side in NSL history, saw England Roses duo Layla Guscoth and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis depart for Surrey Storm in the summer.
The Somerset based side also saw the loss of Kimberly Borger and Rachel Shaw who both called time on their playing careers after enjoying many years at the club.
However, Asha Francis’ side recruited well, securing the signature of London Pulse youngster Jayda Pechova and fellow rising stars Sophie Kelly and Phoebe Maslen.
For Stars, former Bath wing attack Jess Shaw is set to face her previous club after making the switch to Worcester and starting 100% of the games so far.
Two familiar faces will be making a return to their previous home; Stars’ 2022 Players’ player and coaches’ player of the year Bethan Dyke will face her former side alongside defender Summer Artman who returned back to Bath during the summer.
Mid-courter/ defender Tash Pavelin is unavailable for Bath this season after suffering a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament during a training session prior to the opener.
For the hosts, they welcomed back young star Issy Eaton to the bench in their previous game for the first time this season after overcoming an injury.
Stars also saw Rebekah Airey return to the starting seven after the defender was absent from the squad against Pulse due to a knock sustained during their defeat to Sirens.
After a strong start to the season, Trip has limited the starting seven changes with six of the Stars retaining their places for their fixtures so far.
Attacking trio Sigi Burger, Grace Namana and Shaw have created a great threat in the goal third with Burger converting 208 goals so far – the second most in the league. Namana and Shaw have been equally as vital, creating 138 feeds between the pair.
As for the defensive third, goal defence is the only position to see change in the starting line-up and is yet to be rooted with Jess Haynes, Lucy Herdman and Rebekah Airey all slotting into the role next to Trip.
Player/coach Trip has shown no signs of rust upon her return to league action after recording the third highest number of turnovers with 24, and second highest number of intercepts with 14.
For Bath, Francis has rung the changes throughout their first four games and is yet to name the same starting line-up but, after their first win, could see few changes to the seven this weekend.
Last time the two sides faced each other, Bath took all three points after a 50-40 victory at the Team Bath Arena in round 15. However, a much closer encounter played out at the University of Gloucestershire Arena in round five with Bath edging out Stars 45-48.
This time out, new eras are upon the two sides as both squads continue to grow but the goal remains the same for the two teams – to pick up all three points.
The first centre pass can be seen live on Sky Sports YouTube at 19:00.