SEVERN Stars fell to defeat in their final game of the season.

In a tightly-fought contest at the University of Worcester Arena, Stars were beaten 59-52 by visiting Leeds Rhinos.

The hosts led early on but Rhinos took charge of the game when it mattered, dominating in the final quarter.

Worcester News: It was a closely fought game until Leeds dominated in the final quarterIt was a closely fought game until Leeds dominated in the final quarter (Image:

Stars went into the game, on Saturday (May 27), hoping for a repeat of their previous encounter with Rhinos, a narrow 51-53 win at the Allam Sports Centre in March.

Despite captain Gabby Marshall being ruled out, the game looked set to be much of the same, with little to separate the two sides early on.

However, the hosts managed to stamp their authority on the match before the close of the first quarter with an interception from midcourter Sarah MacPhail in the final minutes of the quarter helping Stars extend their lead to four, 16-12.

Mistakes in the second quarter allowed Rhinos to claw their way back before taking a two-goal lead over the home side, 18-20.

Stars fought back to level the scorline but Leeds’ goalkeeper Vicki Oyesola made a crucial turnover to stop Stars getting ahead.

Player-coach Jo Trip decided it was time for change, moving herself to goalkeeper and bringing on Jess Haynes at goal defence.

But Rhinos’ shooters Paige Reed and Ellie Bird continued to connect in the shooting circle, giving their side a three-goal lead come half-time, 29-32.

Worcester News: Leeds scored 14 times in the final quarter to secure the winLeeds scored 14 times in the final quarter to secure the win (Image:

Following a goal for goal start, Stars eventually found their way back into the game in the third quarter as Lily Smith entered the action at goal attack.

Scoring goals and feeding Sigi Burger, Smith helped the hosts to bring the score back level before regaining the lead once more.

Rhinos continued to apply defensive pressure though and thanks to an interception from Elle McDonald, were able to take back the lead come the end of the third quarter, 44-45.

A more dominant display from the visitors in the fourth quarter saw the extend their lead, despite Stars’ attempts to fight back.

The final score of 52-59 sees Stars remain fifth in the Netball Super League, with sixth-placed Saracens Mavericks still with a game to play.