Celtic Dragons miss out against visitors Severn Stars, who won 59-50 in Round 10 of the Vitality Netball Superleague.
Spirits were high after a first home win against Sirens last week and excitement was building ahead of a re-match against Severn Stars. The match began with both teams with their foot on the accelerator. Stars took the lead but Dragons challenged the visitors and were right behind them by one goal at the end of the quarter after a late surge in the green defence.
Dragons defence kept their momentum going into the second quarter and the attack worked patiently along the circle edge. Though they were still chasing, the Dragons executed enough pressure to stay within 2 to 3 goals. The second half of the quarter became much more physical as the Stars aimed to establish a more comfortable lead. The score at half time reflected a very close, tense match – Stars were ahead 27-31.
The third quarter saw a big shift in momentum from the Dragons – defence was tighter than ever with players driving out for interceptions and forcing the Stars to make errors on their way down the court towards goal. A quick change of players also led to more movement in the Dragons shooting circle. Shooters Lydia Hitchings and Kalifa Mc Collin worked determinedly to perfect their positions ready for the feeds. Tireless work from all corners of the court and the Dragons were within one goal once more. A stubborn Severn Stars team did not make it easy though and they capitalised on unforced errors by Dragons to make it 38-42 going into the final quarter.
Severn Stars put their foot on the gas in the final quarter and with less than 2 minutes left on the clock they were ahead by 7 goals. Despite a firm fight by the Dragons the visitors broke through and took the win 59 to Dragons’ 50.
“We’re disappointed with the result,” says Player of the Match Bethan Dyke, “we keep saying we need to be consistent but we did some really good things, we just need to do it for longer periods of the quarters.
“It was a very physical game, so I think our change of direction with short-and-sharp play and our through-court attack was really good today. We’ll take that into the game against Bath on Saturday.”
Celtic Dragons take on Team Bath who haven’t met since Round 1 back in February. The Green Army will be back for the next home game on Saturday 29 April, for a second turn against Manchester Thunder. It will be a busy weekend for Dragons as they also take on Hertfordshire Mavericks on May the 1st. Tickets are on sale now via www.ticketline.co.uk.