Celtic Dragons v Severn Stars, Saturday March 10 2018. Match report by W. H. Rees

It was the visitors who drew first blood in a bustling Sport Wales National Centre as Celtic Dragons took on Severn Stars in Round 6 of the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague.

Celtic Dragons did not want to give the Stars an early lead and Amanda Varey’s long range pass from midcourt set up Cara Lea Moseley for a shot at goal. Her effort rebounded twice before team-mate Georgia Rowe picked up the pieces, however within minutes Moseley helped to put the Dragons 5-3 ahead with 5 minutes gone. An accidental tumble by Severn Stars’ Phumza Maweni was quickly walked off and by mid-period the away team were back level at 6 apiece. A series of long range passes ensured that the Stars lead never developed in the quarter and the winner at this stage was anyone’s guess.

Kyra Jones came onto court for Amanda Varey in the second quarter and made an immediate impact with an interception for the team in green. Likewise, a fabulous take from captain Suzy Drane was welcomed with applause from the crowd as Celtic Dragons attempted to break the deadlock. Mid-way through the period there seemed to be a slight shift in momentum for the away team and past Dragons could have seen things get away from them, but the squad were gritty and the score remained tied all the way until the half.

The second half began with some excellent defensive work from Kelly Morgan as both teams looked for a way through. Stars did sneak into a two-goal advantage only for visiting goal shooter, Eleanor Cardwell to spill the ball and give up the lead. Ten minutes into the period the pressure finally paid off for Celtic Dragons as Kelly Morgan’s sterling work and a touch of frustration for the visitors lead to the Dragons taking a 4-goal lead. Another crashing fall for Phumza Maweni summed up the quarter as the players in green strutted into a five-goal advantage with 15 minutes to run.

Any worry that the interval might have stolen some of the Dragons’ fire were firmly extinguished within the first few minutes of the final period. The Dragons were outstanding and even some late-period jitters were put to bed by another save from Kelly Morgan. Severn Stars brought on some changes but to no avail as Celtic Dragons made it two-from-two and firmly reversed the form of their pre-season warm-up. Cara Lea Mosley, whose brilliance at goal summed up the home team’s second half dominance, was named Player of the Match for her work at both goal attack and goal shooter.

Player of the Match: Cara Leas Moseley, Celtic Dragons Goal Attack

11-11 (11-11) 13-13 (24-24) 14-9 (38-33) 11-7 (49-40)

Celtic Dragons: G Rowe, CL Moseley, B Dyke, A Varey, S Drane [C], N Jones & K Morgan. Replacements: F Davies, K Jones, S Llewelyn, E Roberts & L Thomas

Severn Stars: E Cardwell, M Holtzhausen, L Rudland, L Malcolm [C], J Gibson, S Cook & P Maweni. Replacements: R Allison, D Ford-Gordon, S Carter, A Davis & R Oatley.