Severn Stars got their first win of the season in style as they breezed past UWS Sirens.
The visitors took the lead towards the end of a closely contested first quarter and went on to dominate their opponents on their way to a comfortable 46-66 victory in the Vitality Netball Superleague.
Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, said she was delighted the team had been able to show what it could do, adding: “We can now push on and know that we can compete at the best level against any opposition.”
In an end-to-end opening quarter, at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, Stars started brightly, with goal attack Maryka Holtzhausen and goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell combining well to help the visitors to a 3-5 lead.
The Scottish side hit straight back to level the game midway through the quarter, but Stars ended the quarter strongly. Cardwell and Holtzhausen’s partnership continued to create problems for the home side’s defence, helping Stars stretch their lead to 13-17 by the end of the first quarter.
Stars carried that momentum into the second quarter, with wing attack Rudland, Holtzhausen and Cardwell combining effectively to help Stars to an eight goal lead.
Sirens threatened to get back into the game midway through the quarter, with energetic centre Sara Bayman doing her best to dictate the play and providing the ammunition needed for goal shooter Shantal Slater to cut the deficit to just five points.
But a Stars side growing in confidence rallied and, through rapid counter attacking and the lethal shooting of Cardwell and Holtzhausen, managed to recover and head into the half-time break 22-33 in front.
The visitors continued to dominate in the opening stages of the third quarter, with the imposing Cardwell continuing her fine form under the post to help Stars carve out a 15 goal lead.
Stars were also impressing defensively, with goal keeper Phumza Maweni and goal defence Sam Cook relentlessly thwarting attacks to stifle a struggling Sirens offensive line-up.
The side showed no signs of slowing down, extending their advantage to 35-51 at the end of the quarter.
Stars’ dominance continued into the final quarter and the commanding Cook was in impressive form, with an instinctive interception from Sirens’ goal attack Lynsey Gallagher capping off a Player of the Match performance.
Stars continued to pile the misery on their Scottish opponents, ending the game with a 22 point victory.
Stars’ Head Coach Sam Bird was delighted with the win and performance.
“It’s a great result, and it’s great for the squad to finally show what they can do,” she said.
“I’m delighted for the players for proving what a great group they are and it was also a victory in every quarter, so we’re delighted with that.
“We can’t wait for the next game now to be able to keep improving and pushing on together.”
Tickets for the next home game against Loughborough Lightning on Saturday 28 April (6pm) are available at www.severnstars.co.uk.
Photo credit: Keith Thomas John Macleod Photography