Wasps Netball suffered their first home defeat in two months with a 64-70 loss to Surrey Storm at the Ricoh Arena.
Tamsin Greenway’s side struggled to find an answer to Storm’s star goal shooter Megan Craig from first centre-pass, who proved the difference for the visitors.
It was a must-win game for Storm, who move back into fourth spot in the Vitality Netball Superleague with the victory.
Wasps Director of Netball Greenway said: “You can’t afford to go eight goals down and let them be that confident with their tall shooter.
“Storm play one-route netball but it works for them, I thought they were classy today and their tactics worked.
“We can’t give the ball away cheaply and expect to win – we’ve got to put on a better attacking display all over the court.
“We need to find out what our big strengths are ahead of the finals and work out what is ultimately going to get us over the line on that weekend.
“I hate losing but I love the game and our crowd were just incredible here tonight.”
Surrey Storm set out their stall early in the game, looking to find Craig with every opportunity – with the 6ft 7in goal-shooter looking in impervious form in front of goal.
Katie Harris impressed from the off for the visitors, proving instrumental in each offensive possession.
Storm’s high-intensity start saw Wasps trail by eight at the close of the first quarter, with the home side’s defenders struggling to block the long-feed into Craig.
The visiting side found themselves in a 10 goal lead shortly after the break, with Storm deploying the same tactic of throwing it up to Craig at any given opportunity.
Bongi Msomi and Natalie Haythornthwaite began to exert their influence mid-way through the second quarter, as their side tried to force their way back into the game.
Msomi and Rachel Dunn combined well in the closing stages of the half, to limit Storm to a six point half-time lead.
Top defensive work from Josie Huckle gave Wasps a platform to work their way back into the game but sloppy attacking play meant they were unable to capitalise.
Greenway entered the fold for the final quarter, but the ex-Storm star was unable to turn the game around for her team.
Wasps attempted to mount a late comeback, but ultimately fell just short – with the game ending 64-70.
Wasps Netball travel to face Celtic Dragons in their next game on Saturday, May 27 before returning to the Ricoh Arena to play Team Bath in their final fixture of the regular season on Saturday, June 3 (5.00pm centre-pass).
Tickets for Wasps Netball vs Team Bath on June 3 start from £10 for adults while under-10s go free, and can be purchased from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets