Severn Stars' comeback in the final quarter proved too little too late as they were beaten by Saracens Mavericks in their first home game of the Vitality Netball Superleague season on Sunday.

Stars played in front their fans for the first time in almost two years at the University of Worcester Arena but it was Mavericks who led from start to finish and, though Stars were brighter in the second half, Mavericks secured the victory.

The visitors started with intent and settled into an early rhythm and Stars found it difficult to cope.

They grew into the contest but a strong end to the first quarter by the Mavericks saw them hold an 18-10 advantage.

Stars began to gain momentum in the second but quick play between Mavericks’ attacking players saw them score two in quick succession to keep their healthy lead and at half-time had a lead of 35-21.

Stars’ intensity increased after the break as as Melissa Bessell’s side began to feed the ball into the attacking duo at a quicker pace. A clever spin from Paige Reed in the attacking third disorientated the defender, giving her space to take her shot.

In the other shooting circle, Ine-Mari Venter continued her fine form, using her height and strength to prevent Dee Bolakoro and Lucy Herdman from intercepting another goal and Mavericks led 52-35 heading into the final quarter.

Stars started positively with Herdman intercepting the Mavericks’ pass and creating a counter that Reed capitalised on.

Bolakoro was keeping Venter at bay and an unforced error from Mavericks then enabled Reed to pick up and offload the ball to Liana Leota who began the counter attack for another goal.

A late attempt of a comeback was on for Stars as they reduced the deficit to eight goals but the calmness of Venter reduced all chance and they came away with a 62-52 victory.