Pulse’s persistence denies Stars ultimate fairytale

LONDON Pulse have finished third in the Netball Super League, after defeating the Severn Stars 52-48 this morning.

The Stars were actually the much better team in the first half, but the Pulse never gave up and worked their way back into the match. They ultimately showed their experience and got the win to deny the Stars a fairytale farewell to the league.

Although the Stars were the first to break centre pass, the Pulse were crucially the ones to first establish a proper buffer. But as quickly as the Pulse established that buffer the Stars reeled it back in and establish their own lead.

The Stars defence was really starting to hum, as Jo Trip and Jasmine Brown were picking up a number of crucial turnovers and Sigrid Burger and Lefébre Rademan were rewarding them up the other end.

The margin was never more than a handful of goals, but it just felt like the Stars had and maintained the upper hand with the Pulse unable to pick up the crucial turnovers they needed. Ultimately the margin sat at three goals in the Stars’ favour at the first change.

The Stars’ maintained that momentum early in the second term as that three to four-goal buffer held.

As much as Funmi Fadoju was really lifting and becoming quite influential in the game, it was in ways a one woman mission as others were not lifting in the same way. Despite being much less experienced side when it comes to finals, the Stars were playing with a strong calmness as some in the Pulse side were really rattled with how the match was going.

All this saw the Stars’ lead keep growing, and it got out to as much as eight goals the difference, but the Pulse were able to knock a few off that deficit just before the half time break to only be five goals behind at the main break.

The Pulse had been starting to generate some momentum at the end of the second term and that momentum continued into the early part of the third term. The pulse got the margin all the way down to two goals before the Stars settled and stopped that run.

Although the Pulse could not quite fully eliminate the deficit for much of the third term, it was clear that the momentum of the match was definitely wearing pink. The Pulse finally eliminated the deficit with about three and a half minutes left in the quarter, and then the match took a dramatic turn when Brown copped a suspension in the dying minutes of the term after a heavy clash with Olivia Tchine.

However, the Stars played that suspension cleverly, playing a strong possession game to try and chew up some time. In the end each side only scored one goal each while Brown was off the court. In the end, the score was 38 goals each at the final change, with the match’s victor far from decided.

The Pulse did not take too long to build a bit of a buffer early in the last term, as those in pink finally started to generate those defensive turnover opportunities  they had struggled to make all game. It remained a three to four-goal margin for much of the quarter as the Pulse maintained their buffer and the Stars could not find the one moment they needed to generate multiple goals in a row.

The Stars threw everything at trying to reel in the deficit in the final few minutes, making several midcourt changes at once in the hope of reeling in the deficit. However no matter what the Stars tried they just could not reel in the deficit as the Pulse scored the final four goals of the match to take the win.

SEVERN STARS 14 | 14 | 10 | 10 (48)
LONDON PULSE 11 | 12 | 15 | 14 (52)

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