WORCESTER'S Severn Stars were left disappointed after narrowly losing 51-49 to London Pulse in their Vitality Netball Superleague season opener.

With just two minutes left, Stars and league debutants Pulse were level with the teams neck-and-neck for much of the second half but London took the victory in the final seconds.

Head coach Sam Bird called for Stars to show their “excellent” quality of play more consistently.

At Arena Birmingham as part of the league’s Super Ten event Pulse were led by Australian Ash Neal and Jamaican Shantal Slater.

A tight affair saw Stars unable to get much change out of Slater and they could do little about goal attack Chiara Semple’s long-range shooting.  Pulse led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter and went in at half-time 26-22 ahead.

Bird brought on the experienced Cara Lea Moseley at wing attack and she linked seamlessly with fellow Welsh international Georgia Rowe in attack as the momentum swung. 

Stars went on a 7-0 run to finish the third quarter 38-35 ahead.

Formidable new signing Rowe combined well with England Futures star Paige Reed to convert 92 per cent of their shots.

But Pulse had their own impressive shooter in England international Semple and the fourth quarter was tense.

With just two minutes left and the score at 49-49, Rowe uncharacteristically overshot and Pulse showed no mercy, scoring off the turnover and again from their own centre pass in the dying seconds.

Stars captain Iona Darroch said: “Obviously losing by two goals is always a hard one to take and it is a bit gutting and frustrating but we also have to take the positives from the performance. 

"There were times where we stuck to what we’ve worked on in training and to the structure and the ball went through really easily.

"We just weren’t consistent enough. Going into the next game away to Loughborough Lightning it is going to be tough but we know we have more than we showed so we have to get out there and prove it.”

Bird said: “We had a slow start but I am encouraged by the improvement throughout the game.

"We cannot afford the losses of concentration that meant we didn’t capitalise on all the ball we won.

"This league is too good for that. We are disappointed by the result obviously but had patches of excellent play which we need to focus on, carry forward into the next game and be more consistent in producing.”

Stars go to last year’s runners-up Loughborough on Saturday.