DESPITE a spirited first-half showing, Severn Stars were unable to produce an upset as reigning Vitality Netball Superleague champions Loughborough Lightning eventually turned on the style to seal a 70-56 win.

Stars, back home playing at the University of Gloucestershire Arena, started brightly and led after the first quarter.

Stars welcomed back Cat Tuivaiti following her spell out of the game with injury and she brought her signature no-look passes and flare to the game.

There was nothing that separated either side in the first quarter, but it was Stars who took a one goal advantage over Lightning with a goal on the buzzer from Katie Harris at the end of the first quarter, 18-17.

Issy Eaton replaced Tuivaiti and Nicole Humphrys replaced Iman Thomas in the second quarter. Both sides were scoring well, but two consecutive turnovers from Lightning on the Stars centre pass gave the champions a five-goal lead going into the half-time interval, 31-36.

Lightning players were the quickest to shift gears and up their level in the second half and they soon pulled away to an eight-goal lead over Stars.

Despite a flurry of intercepts from Stars, the home side were unable to capitalise and went 12 goals down to the visitors, ending the third quarter with it all to do at 43-55.

Both teams made an array of changes for the opening of the final quarter. Humphrys made an early intercept and the ball flew down the court to Eaton who scored.

But some quick passages of play from Lightning saw them extend the lead further and in the end the visitors were able to contorl the latter stages of the clash and Lightning came away victorious, 56-70.

Stars defender, Lucy Herdman, said afterwards: "It was a physical game from both teams out there tonight, both teams wanted the win.

"We will have a very hard week of training this week before our trip up to Scotland next week when we face Strathclyde Sirens."