IT proved to be a mixed bag of results for Severn Stars in the Vitality Netball Superleague last weekend. 

The double-header began on Friday evening (March 24) with a match against Leeds Rhinos at the University of Hull’s Allam Sports Centre. 

Stars went goal for goal with Rhinos in the opening minutes and it remained that way through the opening quarter. 

Stars’ defensive resoluteness caused problems, forcing the home side to work around the shooting circle. Continuing her great form, Stars defender and Head Coach, Jo Trip, forced Rhinos’ attack into an error, but the Stars counterattack was halted after an Elle McDonald interception as the quarter ended 17-16 in Leeds' favour. 

There was very little in it at half-time as both sides continued to try and wrestle control of the contest but Rhinos kept ahead by two points at the break (29-27).

Worcester News: Stars defender Jo Trip (orange kit), centre of photo, defends and watches a shotStars defender Jo Trip (orange kit), centre of photo, defends and watches a shot (Image: @merrick_matthew)

Stars wasted no time in overturning the two-goal deficit, but Rhinos kept up the pressure and a rapid start to the third quarter saw them force a turnover. A series of individual errors from both sides saw Stars regain possession and convert, but they remained behind, with the stage set for a tight last quarter at 39-38.

Stars started the better of the two sides and went two goals up after Trip drew a penalty. But in the closing stages, Rhinos’ defence intercepted as Grace Namana looked to feed the ball around to Burger, which led to Rhinos shooter Paige Reed scoring twice in quick succession to draw the game level.

However, a held ball from Reed in the attacking circle allowed Stars to break away, drawing a two-goal lead and earning them a fourth win of the season.

But they were unable to carry that form into the Sunday game when they faced league leaders Surrey Storm at the University of Worcester Arena.

The league table suggested it would be a big ask for Stars and so it proved. Surrey started strongly and opened up a 10-point advantage by the end of the first quarter. 

Trip, who started the match with an unchanged line-up, made changes in attack going into the second quarter, but Storm scored five quick goals in succession.

Worcester News: Stars shooter Grace Namana (orange kit) in possessionStars shooter Grace Namana (orange kit) in possession (Image:

Further changes, this time in defence, did little to stem the flow of points in the second-quarter. Storm continued to disrupt Stars’ attacking end forcing errors and turnovers, earning them a daunting 19-39 lead at half-time.

Stars made a fist of it in the second-half but the damage had been done and the visitors' quality shone through, able to pick Stars off and extend their lead further as the game wore on. 

In the end, Surrey cruised to a comprehensive 79-42 victory that leaves Stars in fifth place in the league table.