Stars were back playing in front of their home crowd at the University of Worcester for their last game of the 2023 Netball Super League season.
Severn Stars last played Leeds Rhinos away in round 8 which saw a very close game with Stars eventually take the win.
Unfortunately, due to a slight injury picked up last week, Captain Gabby Marshall was ruled out of the match and training partner Ruth Hughes was brought in and was rewarded with the centre bib in the starting 7.
The game started goal for goal with nothing separating either side until Stars head coach and player Jo Trip put an end to that, gaining an intercept in the Rhinos shooting circle which Sigi Burger converting into goal. A Stars centre pass to follow meant the home side went two goals ahead after 5 minutes into the game.
Ruth Hughes connected well with the attacking unit with Jess Shaw, Grace Namana and Sigi Burger. Quick play down court took the ball to Sigi Burger in the shooting circle to score.
An intercept from Scottish Thistle Sarah MacPhail in the final minutes of the quarter helped Stars to extend their lead taking a 4 goal lead after the first quarter 16-12.
Stars’ Hughes got the game back underway in the second quarter taking the first centre pass.
A few mistakes made by Stars meant that Rhinos were able to claw their way back level and eventually take a 2-goal lead over the home side taking the score to 18-20.
The score went back level, but Goal Keeper Vicki Oyesola who has been instrumental for Rhinos in the Goal Keeper position this season, made a crucial turnover to help her side out.
Jo Trip made her first change with Jess Haynes coming onto Goal Defence, moving herself back to Goal Keeper.
Rhinos’ shooters Paige Reed and Ellie Bird connected well in the shooting circle to take their side out to three goals into half time 29-32.
Nothing separating either side at the start of the third quarter with the score going goal for goal but Rhinos making an important turnover helping the side to extend out to a four-goal lead.
A second change for Stars saw young Star Lily Smith enter the Court at GA who quickly settled into the game scoring goals and feed her Shooting partner Burger which led to bringing the score back to level.
The defensive pressure from another young Star Jasmine Brown helped to turnover the ball and the vision from Smith to find Burger helped Stars to regain the lead.
More defensive pressure, this time from Rhinos centre Elle McDonald gaining an interception to help her side once again take the lead but a penalty shot on the buzzer from Burger saw the 3rd quarter end 44-45 in favour of the visitors.
It was a Stars centre pass going into the final quarter but that was quickly disrupted from Rhinos. Oyesola gained another interception within seconds, but Stars Goal Keeper Jasmine Brown came up with the rebound to help her side draw back level.
A mistake from Stars attack sees the visitors once again take back the lead.
Rhinos defensive pressure continued as they turned ball over to stretch out their lead by 5 goals.
Sarah MacPhail flying out taking an intercept to help her side draw back the deficit, but it wasn’t enough to catch Rhinos with the final score ending with the visitors taking the win 52-59.
Gilbert Player of the Match – Ellie Bird
Let’s Culminate Player of the Match – Sigi Burger
What a season it has been for Severn Stars. The support from the home crowd has kept Jo Trip and team in high spirits as they challenge every team they face. Stars have now completed all their matches for the 2023 season and finish sitting in 5th position in the Netball Super League table. The result of Saracen Mavericks v London Pulse next weekend will determine final league position.