Play-off chasers prove too strong for Stars
SEVERN Stars lost 62-48 to a Saracens Mavericks side chasing a place in the top four of the Vitality Netball Superleague.
Despite leading after the first quarter, Stars were unable to live with Mavericks as they stepped up their game in the final quarter, which allowed them to pull decisively clear.
There was a welcome return for Iona Darroch, who had missed the Easter Big Weekend due to illness and she made some flying interceptions in the centre court and good link up play with Lucy Harris, Maryka Holtzhausen and Georgia Rowe in the attacking end.
The relationship that defensive duo Jodi-ann Ward and Sam Cook have developed over the season showed as the pressure in the circle increased, making it harder for Mavericks to score and Stars ended the first quarter 13-11 up.
But two vital turnovers in the Stars’ attacking end enabled Mavericks to pull in front but Holtzhausen’s long range effort right on the whistle brought the gap back to 30-25 at the interval.
The start of the third quarter saw Mavericks pull away to an eight goal lead, but Stars managed to pull it back to 45-41 at the end of the quarter, finishing off with a five second centre pass to goal move that Holtzhausen scored on the whistle.
An unsettled start to the fourth quarter from Stars saw Mavericks pull away again.
Paige Reed entered the game at goal shooter, replacing Georgia Rowe, and added to the score sheet, but Mavericks had secured a comfortable lead by this point and Stars could not find a way back.
Darroch said: “We knew Mavericks were going to be tough opposition to beat. It was great to be able to challenge them for three quarters and there were several times where we could have gone ahead and pushed on but we didn’t capitalise on our chances.
“Mavericks came out fighting in the fourth quarter and it was disappointing that we couldn’t adjust to stay in the game.
“I think we showed a lot of improvement though from our game against them earlier in the season and there were a lot of positives to take into our final game this week.”
Stars face Wasps Netball at the University of Worcester Arena on May 4 in their last game of the season. For tickets visit www.ticketline.co.uk/ netball-superleague-severn-stars#bio.
Stars’ Jodi-ann Ward defending a shot