SEVERN Stars head coach Sam Bird insisted her team need to start better in order to triumph at home as they were defeated 55-46 by Surrey Storm.

Stars, who were competitive throughout, opened the scoring through captain Maryka Holtzhausen as she paved a clear path to the net for the home side more than once early on.

However shortly after Surrey strung a number of scores together to take the lead and their momentum was marked by a spectacular looping shot by goal attack Rhea Dixon.

Stars kept in touch by working space for goal shooter Georgia Rowe, who registered 28 points for the afternoon, and the team trailed by only four at the first interval.

Goal defence Jodi-Ann Ward proved difficult to pass and Stars kept the pressure on in the second quarter as the Jamaican alongside goal keeper Sam Cook ensured Storm had to work hard to find the net.

Stars missed multiple opportunities to reduce the deficit before half-time, choosing to introduce Paige Reed late in the second quarter to take the chances they were creating which proved successful.

With goal defence Ward sidelined through injury, the game opened up in the third quarter as Storm extended their lead to six at the University of Gloucestershire Sports Arena.

Despite the growing distance on the scoreboard Stars always looked threatening with Reed making the most of Rowe’s movement to find her with a sublime pass into the in-goal area.

But with the efforts of Surrey duo Lorraine Kowalewska and Shadine Van Der Merwe Stars struggled to score consistently enough to edge back into contention.

Surrey continued to counter-attack well and goal shooter Sigrid Burger extended the lead to nine.

Reed's presence continued to prove creative for Stars but ultimately they went down to now fifth-placed Surrey who sit three positions above Stars.

Bird said: “I’m a little bit disappointed. We didn’t start well and had a nervy first half.

"We had a very nervy first five minutes and allowed Storm to feel at home and you don’t want the away team feeling comfortable.

"I felt like we were battling from the start really.”

Stars face ninth-placed Strathclyde Sirens on Friday at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

Bird added: “Similarly to Storm, Sirens are another team that we beat in pre-season so I think it’s in our hands to play a little bit smarter and when we win ball score off it and reward our defenders by being a bit more clinical in attack.

"It’s early days at the minute and we’ve got players who are injured to come back into the side. The players are working hard and even though it’s cliché we look to perform well in the next game and all we can do is go from there.”