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Strathclyde Sirens

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Severn Stars

Match Details

13th February 2021
Round 1 & 2
Studio 001
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Match Results

Watch On: Broadcaster Logo

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First Centre Pass

Bethan Dyke
Bethan Dyke Severn Stars View profile

Team Stats

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Strathclyde Sirens record first win of 2021 over Severn Stars

WAKEFIELD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: X during the Vitality Netball Superleague match between Strathclyde Sirens and Severn Stars at Studio 001 on February 13, 2021 in Wakefield, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Vitality Netball Superleague)

Severn Stars took to the court on Saturday for their opening game of the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season against Strathclyde Sirens in Wakefield.

After the 2020 season was cut short due to Covid-19, England Netball, with support from the Superleague franchises, have worked hard to ensure the 2021 season could take place safely with all games being streamed for fans to watch the action.

A patient start for Stars saw the score remain within two of Sirens, with the lead swinging both ways throughout the quarter before ending the first 12 minutes 10-9 to Sirens.

The new season has seen a change of ends for University of Worcester student, Lucy Herdman, with a move from goal shooter to goal keeper. Together with new signing Dee Bolakoro and Welsh international Nia Jones at wing defence and Bethan Dyke at centre, Sirens were forced to play the ball around before feeding it into the circle to the shooting combination of Gallagher and Goodwin.

Both sides remained unchanged moving into the second quarter. A rocky start, with possession changing multiple times resulted in no goal for nearly the first three minutes, until Georgia Rowe popped it in from under the post, making it a level game again. Stars crept into the lead with some fast passing and successful feeds into the circle from captain Leota. Despite Stars work rate, Sirens finished the first half three goals up, 19-16.

Lucy Harris and Immy Thomas took to the court for Stars, while Sirens remain unchanged. Costly mistakes resulted in a shaky start for the second half for both sides. As the quarter progressed, Stars full court defence made it difficult for Sirens to penetrate the ball, however, Sirens tenacity ensured they remained in the lead.

The third quarter ended 26-22 to Sirens thanks to Paige Reed who scored a penalty shot after the whistle, due to a contact call on Georgia Rowe. A pivotal goal for stars as it kept them within five going into the final quarter.

University of Gloucestershire student, Jane Taylor scored the first goal of the final quarter in her debut game for the Superleague team. Taylor has progressed through the Severn Stars Pathway, having represented both U19 and U21 NPL sides. Sirens also made a change bringing on their young shooter Emma Barrie, which brought a different dynamic to their shooting circle.

A few costly errors from Stars saw Sirens extend their lead to 10 with five minutes to go.  A long ball from Jones into Rowe quickly followed by a footwork call against Player of the Match Taylor Cullen, changed the momentum of the game but there wasn’t enough time to pull it back and the game ended 36-30 to Sirens.

After the game, Stars Head Coach Melissa Bessell said: "The game tonight was not the best quality performance that stars can produce, it was disappointing but I’m not totally disappointed. I think if you play as individuals in this game of netball you are going to lose, hence the result tonight.

"We gave far too much away, and we need to correct that, however, I am proud that everyone kept going to the bitter end. I am proud of Jane's very first VNSL game and I think she played exceptionally well. I was also extremely impressed with my defence.

"I think Lucy Herdman played well and is going to be a threat to many teams and I was impressed with Immy coming on at goal defence. But, at the end of the day, we are not going to win games if we cannot convert and get the ball through the hoop."

Although Stars will be disappointed that they lost their first game of the season, there were many positive that they will take away from this game ready for their game tomorrow night against Wasps. Sirens play Celtic Dragons next.

Vitality Player of the Match: Taylor Cullen (Strathclyde Sirens)

Make sure you’re following @NetballSL on Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for the VNSL Newsletter to stay up to date with news and tickets.

Match report from Severn Stars.