Benecos Mavericks 68, Severn Stars 46
Severn Stars were left disappointed after losing to Benecos Mavericks in their first away fixture of the season.
The Mavericks made a strong start and led from the outset, extending that advantage as the match went on, and, with Stars not able to close the deficit in the second half, it ended with Mavericks in front 68-46.
But the team is now looking to bounce back in front of their fans at Monday (February 26) night’s fixture against Team Bath at the University of Worcester Arena.
Stars were hoping for their first win, after narrowly missing out in their season opener against Manchester Thunder, with a goal in the final seconds, and losing to Midlands rivals Wasps Netball despite drawing two quarters.
But the home side started quickly and led from the first whistle at the new Sport Arena Essex, in Colchester, and were quickly 4-0 up before Stars managed to get their first goal.
But the home side continued their strong start, particularly in mid-court, to build on their advantage, with Stars down 10 goals at one stage, but managing to end the first quarter 17-8.
Mavericks carried this momentum into the second quarter, and at the half-time interval their lead stood at 14 points, at 34-20.
At the opening of the third quarter, tight defensive play and quick transitions through the court kept Mavericks in the lead. However, with some fantastic circle work and shooting from goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell and Maryka Holtzhausen at goal attack, Stars began to tighten the gap.
Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, switched Sam Cook to goal keeper and put in goal defence South African international Phumza Maweni, who was able to disrupt the play of Mavericks.
Despite this brighter third quarter, Stars had it all to do in the final 15 minutes, with the score at 52-32.
In an effort to turn the scoreline around, Bird made further changes at the start of the last quarter, bringing in Amanda Davis at goal attack for Holtzhausen and Rosie Allison at goal shooter for Cardwell.
With three minutes on the clock Mavericks had an imposing 66-43 lead and, despite Stars finding three further goals late on, they were unable to recover the match.
Stars’ Captain Laura Malcolm said: “It was a disappointing game – Mavericks came out firing and we did not really respond. We will be working to build our confidence in letting the ball go and to just be prepared to do the hard work and grind the game out. But it’s a new game on Monday so we learn from this and will be on it.”
Defender Sam Cook added: “This is a hard loss to swallow and not the performance that we know we can produce, but credit to Mavericks who capitalised on errors when it counted. We need to use the time now to regroup ready for our next fixture against Bath.”
Head Coach Bird said: “Given the high standards we have set ourselves this season it is disappointing not to have met them today. It is our first game on the road and we have a day’s rest and will be back to business against Team Bath.”
Stars face another tough game against last year’s fourth placed Team Bath in their next league game at the University of Worcester Arena at 7.30pm.
Tickets for the next home game against Team Bath are available at www.severnstars.co.uk.
For all enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit Andrew Taylor