REPORT: Wasps Netball 54-47 Severn Stars

Wasps Netball returned to winning ways with a dramatic 54-47 victory against West Midlands rivals Severn Stars.

Mel Mansfield’s team took a ten-goal lead in the first-half but saw the gap reduced to four goals in the final-quarter.

The table-toppers remained under pressure until the final whistle but were able to come away with a hard-fought victory.

Mansfield said: “It’s good to get the win. I’m not particularly happy with the performance but at the end of the day, the three points is what matters.

“I didn’t feel we were going to lose it but we let them get back into the game in the third-quarter, which has typically been a strong quarter for us this season.

“However, we came through the pressure and played well in the final-quarter to come away with the win.

“We had the benefit of playing at home with fantastic support to push us forward when it got tight.

“We’ll be looking at why we faltered in the third-quarter and will put that right before we play Loughborough Lightning next Monday.”

Wasps were slow out the blocks in the first-quarter and Stars took advantage to take early control.

Stars Goal Keeper Sam Cook proved disruptive during the opening stages, halting the hosts’ attacks with multiple interceptions.

Bongi Msomi responded by breaking up play and winning the ball from Stars, feeding Rachel Dunn well to keep Wasps in touch.

The home side were able to build momentum to close the first-quarter, with a series of quickfire goals giving the Black and Golds a three-goal lead.

Katie Harris put on a clinical shooting display to open the second-quarter, relieving the pressure on her side from the first centre-pass.

The hosts found their attacking rhythm, working the ball into the circle with ease and pushing out to a six-goal lead.

Fran Williams also starred throughout the second 15 minutes. The Goal Defence combined well with Hannah Knights at Goal Keeper to break up play and help their team to build a double-figure advantage.

Wasps started the second-half in style, with a swift attacking move finding Dunn for the goal.

However, the visitors found their flow and were soon back within six, with former Wasp Halimat Adio impressing at Goal Keeper for Stars.

The momentum remained with Stars, who stifled the Black and Golds’ attack and reduced the deficit to five going into the final-quarter.

Stars continued to put pressure on their hosts to start the fourth-quarter and were soon within three goals, as Wasps attempted to find a solution.

A huge interception from Knights proved a key moment, followed up by a mistake from Stars to help the Black and Golds extend their lead.

The home side were able to hold on to their advantage and come away as 54-47 winners.

Wasps Netball’s next fixture will see them take on Loughborough Lightning at Sir David Wallace Arena on Monday 18 March (7pm centre-pass).

Attendance: 1208

Player of the match: Jade Clarke

Q1: 14-11 Q2: 32-22 Q3: 42-37 Q4: 54-47

Wasps starting seven: GK Hannah Knights; GD Fran Williams; WD Amy Flanagan; C Jade Clarke; WA Bongi Msomi; GA Katie Harris; GS Rachel Dunn Used substitutes:  Sophia Candappa (WA); Josie Huckle (GK) Stars starting seven: GK Samantha Cook; GD Jodi-Ann Ward; WD Ella Powell-Davies; C Iona Darroch; WA Cara Lee Moseley; GA Markya Holtzhausen; GS Georgia Rowe