SEVERN Stars were again left frustrated after another defeat, this time at the hands of Saracens Mavericks, in the Vitality Netball SuperLeague.

Stars took on the in-form Mavericks at Studio 001 in Wakefield on Monday night (March 29) having only one win from their opening seven league games. Despite an encouraging start, they were unable to maintain an even first quarter and Saracens extended their lead to eight before half-time and then pulled away in the final quarter to seal the win that keeps them fourth.

Mavericks’ first centre pass went straight to goal, followed by a great settler from Stars goal attack Paige Reed, which set the standard of the first 12 minutes from both sides. Stars goal shooter Georgia Rowe was playing a moving shooter, which enabled a sneaky bounce pass into the circle from Lucy Harris to Reed under the post, taking them one goal up.

The match up was equal, going goal for goal with turnovers from both sides. At 14 seconds to go, with a turnover in the defence end it looked like Stars could go one up, but time ran out and the quarter ended all square, 10-10.

Stars couldn’t capitalise from the first turnover of the quarter due to a flying Kadeen Corbin taking the ball out of the air from the backline pass. The game remained goal for goal until halfway through the quarter when Mavericks started to pull away, making five goals without reply. Mavericks continued to add to their score, ending the quarter in the lead 24-16, outscoring in that quarter 14-6.

Following changes after the interval, there were a number of opportunities for Stars thanks to the tenacity of its defence, which made a number of turnovers, but Stars struggled to capitalise. Mavericks’ defensive unit of Razia Quashie, Jo Tipp and former Stars player Jodie Gibson made it challenging for Stars, with Quashie, who was later awarded Player of the Match, taking a number of flying interceptions out of the circle. Harris re-entered the game with four minutes to play and had an instant impact with the team scoring from a Mavericks centre pass. Changes also in Stars’ defence saw them end the quarter strongly with a 10-10 draw, but overall Mavericks led 34-26.

The opening minutes of the final quarter went back to a goal for goal game. Stars’ work rate remained high, with good movement in the circle from Reed and a full team effort to deny Mavericks options throughout court. However, a couple of quick turnovers and Mavericks began to pull away. Lucy Herdman re-entered at goal keeper but it was the Mavericks goal keeper that was making the difference, stopping the flow for Stars and the game ended with Mavericks in front, 53-36.

Following the game, Head Coach Melissa Bessell said: “They [the players] know and it’s as I have said, it’s not that teams are better than us, it’s us that are actually giving stuff away. Every game, no matter win or lose, it’s about looking at the performances. We will go back to training this week and we will give them the stats. I need to give them time to take it all in and understand where we are going wrong so we can work toward it and put it right next week.”

Stars must now look ahead to a double header over the Easter Weekend, with matches against Celtic Dragons on Sunday, April 4, at 2pm followed by London Pulse on Monday, April 5, at 5.15pm.