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Severn Stars Slay the Celtic Dragons One Final Time

Written by Molly Geehan

Celtic Dragons couldn’t handle the heat against Severn Stars in their final game of the season, with Stars taking the win, 39-45.

Stars took on the 11th placed team in the Vitality Netball Superleague at the Copper Box Arena in London on Sunday afternoon (20th June).

The first quarter took fans on a real rollercoaster ride as both teams went back and forth scoring goals and putting their coaches on the edge of their seats. The first centre pass from Dragons sailed down the court in three passes, scored by Amy Clinton. Stars quickly retaliated with Rowe putting their first goal on the board. However, Dragons took an early lead, with being 8-4 up halfway through this quarter. With a change being made in Stars defensive circle, Dee Bolakoro soon made an impact, teaming up with Iman Thomas to make tips and intercepts which would soon lead to the quarter finishing 9-10 to Stars.

Photo by Ben Lumley

Quarter two was even more nail-biting than the first! With Kyra Jones turning over the ball from Robinson, Stars saw this opportunity to run, and not stop running. The speed of both teams almost proved too much for the umpires to handle, as penalties were being handed out nearly every five seconds. However, it was Stars who improved on their mistakes and took the opportunities they were given to score. Long bombs from Reed and no-look passes from Harris boosted the team. Despite there being good passages of play, Dragons were not giving up and they finished the first half 19 all.

Half time made sure both teams regrouped and recharged for the second half ahead. The third quarter was full of fumbles, falls and fantastic shots from both teams. Stars settled more around the circle edge, allowing time to work the ball to the shooters and into the net. With the reach of Amy Clinton, Stars defence tried their hardest to take tips and intercepts, but not all were successful. However, the speed at which they took the ball down the court is what made a difference at the end of this quarter. Stars were going into quarter four, five goals ahead, 25-30.

With the final quarter being the last for both teams this season, and for Tania Hoffman as Head Coach for Dragons, both teams came out fighting to come out on top. The strength on the ball from Kyra Jones allowed Stars to battle through the Dragons defence. With Rowe taking a knock, it became the perfect opportunity for Player of the Match, Reed, to sink yet another one from afar. Despite Dragons’ best efforts, Stars took the victory 39-45 which secured their fourth win of the season.

Shortly after the game, Stars Head Coach, Melissa Bessell said: “I was so impressed with Dee and how she came on. She made a huge difference! Look, I’m just happy that it’s all over. It’s been one heck of a season.” “I’m really looking forward to going home to New Zealand and seeing my family and having a break. It’s been such a strange season for everybody. I have to say thank you to England Netball, thank you to Sky for the coverage you have given us and to the umpires, which I never do!”

Photo by Ben Lumley