Dragons were looking to finish a tough season on a high as they sought to take the win over Severn Stars in their final match. Dragons were first on the board courtesy of Amy Clinton, and they looked to more settled of the two teams in the early part of the match as they went into a three goal lead. The presence of Laura Rudland at wing-attack helped Dragons find plenty of space behind the Stars defenders, but the Worcester-based team were not perturbed. Georgia Rowe remained composed at goal shooter and with a change in their defensive line-up, they brought the scores back level and even took a one goal lead at the break
The second period saw errors mount for both sides as the match became a bit cagey. The lead changed hands a few times as Shona O’Dwyer showed great physicality to contest the ball and provide Dragons a way of breaking the deadlock. Dragons did have opportunities to further turn the screw, Annika Lee Jones caught a rebounded shot and the counter-attack was on, however the officials to ruled her out of court. Nevertheless, Dragons’ grit saw them level out the scores at half time.
Dragons kept patient as the second half got underway, and there was a chorus of disapproval through the Copperbox as a great Clinton shot was disallowed for a held ball. Momentum swung in Stars direction as passing errors crept in for Dragons and the opposition were able to use their bench to good effect. Dragons kept a hold of the opposition’s coat-tails however, and despite the 5-goal advantage it was all to play for in the final quarter.
There were some tired legs across the court as the last quarter began and the game broke apart a bit. Dragons were able to find some more space as a result and chipped away at the deficit. Still, it was Stars who were able to dig deep and keep it tight, minimising Dragons’ opportunities to turn the ball. In the end, it was a close but fair victory for Severn Stars who were a bit more assertive in their attacking centre pass during the match overall.
Despite the loss, Tania Hoffman can feel a great deal of pride in her side’s performance in their final game of an attritional season. The team played with their hearts on their sleeves and several players have put their hands-up and showcased their talents in the fully-televised 2021 season.
Quarter scores: 09-10 (09-10); 10-09 (19-19); 06-11 (25-30); 14-15 (39-45)