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Vitality Netball Super League

Severn Stars’ Captain, Laura Malcolm, says the team is pushing to end the second half of the season on a high as they go up against Manchester Thunder this Saturday (May 19).

With seven games left to go in the team’s second Vitality Netball Superleague campaign, four of which are at home, Malcolm says the team are aiming to improve their position from last year.

She said the team had grown in terms of its attitude and identity this season and would be looking to redress some difficult losses due to inconsistent performances earlier in the season.

“We want to end the season strong and have always been aiming for a better finish than last year,” said Malcolm. “So we want to push for back-to-back wins and to put right some wrongs from the first half of the season. The team is in good spirits at the moment and we have built a lot in terms of culture and identity from last season. It’s not easy to deal with losses, but we have been relentless with our analysis and it feels good knowing that this team doesn’t have a defeated attitude, but is always striving for more.”

Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, are looking to continue their impressive form from the last match against benecosMavericks, in which they pulled away in the second half to win 55-44.

Currently sitting fourth in the Vitality Netball Superleague, Manchester is one of two teams that Stars lost to by just a point in the dying seconds earlier in the season.

Malcolm, a former Manchester Thunder player, said that some of their team have had 10 Superleague seasons together so are “pretty much on a telepathic level”.

“Manchester Thunder will be a tough game,” she said.  “They are very well drilled and an extremely experienced team. We have to hit the ground running in this game and stay consistent throughout if we want to compete.”

However, Malcolm said the win against Mavericks had given the side a boost coming into this match.

“It was great to get the win against Mavericks especially after such a heavy defeat against them the first time round,” she said. “I was so proud of how the coaches and players responded to a difficult loss against Team Bath and everyone involved played their part to get the win. The most pleasing thing about it is that it was at home and we put out a strong performance for our fans. They have truly been fantastic this season and it was very frustrating that we hadn’t won at home.

“The result will help in our next game because everyone knows the work that’s needed to win. It is a confidence boost and it would have been tough going up against another big team if we were coming from a loss. But, in all honesty, for every game we reflect on the good and bad, we train hard to improve our game and we move on. You don’t get given anything in this league and each team has a different style so you have to approach each game with a fresh mindset and a new focus and that’s exactly what we have done this week.”

Tickets for the next home game against Surrey Storm on Friday, May 25 are available at www.severnstars.co.uk.

Photo credit: Lindsey Dowthwaite Photography

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