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Severn Stars

Image: Clive Jones

Severn Stars moved closer to finishing in the top four for the first time in their history with victory over Saracens Mavericks.

Stars got past their visitors 59-55 in a thrilling encounter at the University of Worcester Arena live on Sky Sports.

It means Jo Trip’s side can secure their place with victory over Leeds Rhinos next Saturday, live on BBC Sport.

Leeds Rhinos beat table rivals Surrey Storm 63-55 in an energetic battle at the Surrey Sports Park and stay fifth in the standings.

Elsewhere, last season’s grand finalists Loughborough Lightning and Manchester Thunder both secured comfortable victories while fellow high fliers London Pulse extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games.

Stars edge closer to top four

Severn Stars took a big step to securing their place in the top four with a hard-fought 59-55 win over Saracens Mavericks.

There was little to choose between the sides throughout, with Mavericks going into half-time four goals to the good after the first quarter ended 13-13.

But Stars roared back after the break, winning the third quarter 20-11 to decisively take control of the contest, and were able to see out victory at home in Worcester.

Sigi Burger continued to lead from the front, scoring 47 goals at 94% with Jess Shaw ably providing 48 feeds, while Jas Brown followed up the announcement of her inclusion in the Vitality Roses programme with two gains at goal keeper.

Teammates Ella Powell-Davies and Jo Trip added three each, with Powell-Davies producing a key interception to turn the tide in the third quarter with Stars six goals behind.

That was bettered by fellow Rose Vicki Oyesola for Mavericks with four, while Razia Quashie earned five deflections but it was not enough to earn a point or three for Mavericks.

Lightning return to winning ways at home

Loughborough Lightning grabbed their first win at the Sir David Wallace Arena since defeat to Manchester Thunder with a 73-56 win over Strathclyde Sirens.

Lightning have already secured their top four spot but moved closer to a home semi-final with a comfortable victory, with Ella Clark making her 100th appearance in purple with 16 goals.

Mary Cholhok continued her impressive showings in the circle with 49 goals, with the Ugandan now boasting 720 for the season, while Bella Bayliss carried on her fine form at centre.

A high-scoring first quarter saw Sirens within four of the defending champions, and Lesley MacDonald’s side restricted the hosts to just 13 goals in the second, as Bethan Goodwin scored 27 goals at 93% for the visitors.

Sirens continued to stay in touch before Lightning eventually pulled clear in the fourth quarter.

Thunder power past Team Bath

Manchester Thunder maintained their lead at the top of the Netball Super League with a 82-50 win away at Team Bath.

Thunder raced into a commanding 23-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and Karen Greig’s side never looked back, scoring at least 20 goals in the next two quarters to record their highest tally of the season and the second time they have scored over 80.

The visitors were also able to welcome back club legend Kerry Almond to court, as the goal keeper returned to action for the first time in 12 weeks.

Rhinos defence push past Storm

Leeds Rhinos secured a 63-55 win over Surrey Storm to keep their fifth-place spot in the table.

Defensive powerhouses Geva Mentor and Zoe Davies kept the Rhinos in charge throughout, with Mentor picking up four interceptions and five deflections.

Storm started off strong, going toe-to-toe with the visitors, with the partnership of Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Peace Proscovia making every shot count but some unforced errors pushed victory out of their hands.

Kissimee Player of the Match Cassie Howard was a force to be reckoned with in the circle, with a perfect steal in the third quarter setting her team up for yet another goal, whilst also picking up 18 feeds and a deflection.

Victory saw Rhinos extend their lead over Storm in the table and cement their fifth-place position behind the top four.

But it was the first quarter break that had everyone talking, with two Storm fans taking to centre court for a happy engagement.

Pulse fight off a Dragons comeback

London Pulse extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 59-48 victory over Cardiff Dragons.

Pulse ran away quickly in the opening 15 minutes, but Dragons were able to claw it back to a 16-11 scoreline before the first break in play.

Jacqui Newton was a standout performer for Dragons in goal defence, consistently creating chances for her team and limiting Pulse’s Berri Neil in the circle.

A rallying third 15 minutes from the Welsh side saw them narrowly lose the quarter 14-13 and the visitors continued to close the gap in the closing stages.

But a pinpoint accurate Pulse were unable to miss in the circle, with Neil and Liv Tchine both shooting at 100 per cent accuracy all match, and Pulse ultimately came out on top.

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