Strathclyde Sirens find Copper Box to their liking as they defeat Severn Stars

The Strathclyde Sirens got off to a winning start at the Copper Box with a 45-37 victory over the Severn Stars in the Vitality Netball Superleague.

Bethany Dix in action for the Strathclyde Sirens in their win over Severn Stars at the Copper Box.

The second half of the season is being played at the London Olympic arena and the Scottish side found the new venue to their liking, notching their fifth win of the campaign.

Karen Atkinson, the Sirens’ technical director, was delighted with the result against a Severn team boosted by the return of New Zealand international Liana Leota and the signing of Welsh cap Kyra Jones, who has come out of retirement.

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Atkinson, who has urged her team to be more ruthless, is keen for the Sirens to impose their own style of play on opponents.

Sirens goal keeper Towera Vinkhumbo leaps highest during the match against Severn Stars in London.

“We knew this was going to be a really tough game, they had Leota back and the addition of Kyra Jones, but ultimately we are confident in the brand of netball we are putting out there and it’s about stepping it up a gear further now,” she said.

“We could have won that game by about 10-15 goals so it’s about tightening the screw now and executing under pressure at all times.”

The Sirens showed their composure at critical points in the game, with Gia Abernethy and Beth Dix particularly influential.

Sirens goal keeper Towera Vinkhumbo had to come off early on after taking a knock, with young gun Rachel Conway replacing her.

Vinkhumbo was able to return to the court and Sirens used the second quarter to pull ahead. Abernethy and Dix showed brilliant vision and feeds to Emma Barrie, who held her own under the post against a physical Stars defence.

Strathclyde led 24-16 at half-time and worked hard to keep Stars at bay after the break, stopping the ball from reaching 6ft 4in Georgia Rowe at the net. Barrie and Niamh McCall maintained their cool at the post with accurate shooting, even from range, as Sirens finished the game 45-37 victors.

Barrie, the player of the match, said: “We are continuing to build on our belief and that we can challenge the strongest teams within this league. We’re in a really great place just now and we can’t wait to see how the second half of the season pans out for us.”

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