Severn Stars’ successful start to the season came to an abrupt end with a 76-51 defeat at Surrey Storm.

The Worcester side had begun their campaign brightly with a narrow 55-59 win over Saracens Mavericks on Saturday.

But a clinical Storm proved too much for the Stars, who were bested in a physical contest at the Surrey Sports Park on Monday night.

The hosts had also come into the game on the back of a winning start, having beat Strathclyde Spartans 68-56 on the opening day of the new Netball Super League season.

This optimism shone through, with both sides quick to get on the scoresheet.

Stars’ shooters Grace Namana and Sigi Burger connected well early on in an unchanged starting line-up.

Despite their efforts however, it was Storm who took control in the final five minutes of the first quarter to take a 21-13 lead.

Head coach Jo Trip rang the changes in the second quarter, brining on Rebekah Airey at goal defence and moving herself to goal keeper.

However, Surrey’s shooting duo of Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Proscovia Peace continued to connect well in the shooting circle.

Jess Haynes entered the court at wing defence, replacing Sarah MacPhail, and Stars immediately turned the ball over.

In the dying minutes of the first half, 17-year-old Lily Smith earned her Super League debut, managing to score a first goal for the Stars in the process.

Come the break, Surrey had carved out a 37-24 lead.

Debutant Smith, at goal attack, continued to impress in the second half, creating space and finding Burger under the post.

Both teams forced turnovers, a rebound from a miss by Drakeford-Lewis being picked up by Trip before Burger converted.

Stars’ captain Gabby Marshall then made an interception on the circle end which led to another goal before Kelsie Taylor came on for her debut.

Entering the final 15 minutes, Surrey had stretched their lead to 54-36.

Trip made more changes but it made little difference, as Storm extended their lead even further to the delight of the home crowd.

Severn Stars, owned by the University of Worcester, now look to their first home game at the University of Worcester Arena against Strathclyde Sirens this Saturday, February 18, at 7pm.

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