A devastating 13-goal salvo without reply at the start of the third quarter laid the foundations for Team Bath to record an emphatic 69-33 victory over Leeds Carnegie in the Fiat Netball Superleague tonight (Monday).
In seven stunning minutes the four-times Superleague champions turned a 29-25 advantage at half-time into a match-winning 42-25 lead.
Leeds had no reply for Team Bath’s accuracy and workrate and it wasn’t until the halfway mark of quarter three that Jo Walker finally got her team on the scoresheet.
Team Bath went on to take the quarter by 20 goals to four, a feat they repeated in the final quarter as their opponents flagged.
It was a strong all-round team performance in a game that is due to be televised on Sky Sports from Thursday.
England international Stacey Francis was again impressive, producing some excellent interceptions that earned her the player of the match plaudit. Twenty–year-old University of Bath student Mia Ritchie put in a full shift, completing all 60 minutes of a Superleague game for the first time, while 19-year-old Scarlett Williams, also a University student, made her Superleague debut.
Afterwards Team Bath head coach Jess Garland said: “We’ve been a little inconsistent this season and we wanted to put in a performance that we would all be proud of tonight – and we did that. It was a real team effort and we feel as though we’ve put a bit of a stake in the ground tonight.
“We changed the midcourt a lot tonight and it proved that we’ve got lots of good options across the three midcourt positions. Every change we made had a positive impact, and that was encouraging.”
Team Bath captain Pamela Cookey came away with another impressive haul of goals, netting 40 from 44 attempts.
“In the first half there only seemed to be one or two in it, but in the second half every time we turned over ball we were taking it through to goal,” she said. “Each person did something special tonight, and not just once. We know every one we put out on court will do their job, and that’s a great place for the team to be.”
Leeds took an early lead in the first quarter, with goal shooter Jo Walker impressively accurate in the shooting circle and with some of Team Bath’s passes going uncharacteristically astray. Leeds went in with a 15-13 advantage at the end of quarter one.
Team Bath head coach Jess Garland shuffled her pack in the second quarter, generating a lot more movement in mid-court and her side were quick to close the gap in the second quarter.
But despite taking a four-goal lead into the half-time interval, they couldn’t quite break away.
But it was a different story at the start of the third quarter, when Team Bath ran riot. It was a team performance throughout, with Francis and Eboni Beckford-Chambers making it tough for Leeds’ shooters, and with Gemma Fletcher, Ritchie and Katy Rose making sure the ball was quickly fed through to Cookey and Kirsty Delves in the shooting circle.
Asha Tett came on at goal attack for the final quarter with Cookey moving to shooter. Team Bath continued to press relentlessly until the final whistle, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one in the first 10 minutes of the quarter.
Tonight’s result means the reigning Superleague champions have won four of their five games this season.
Team Bath return to action at home on Saturday (26 February) when they host Glasgow Wildcats at the University of Bath Sports Training Village. The entertainment gets underway at 4.45pm.
For further information and to buy tickets for these and other Team Bath home games please go to the ticketline website . You can also buy tickets from the events ticket line on 0844 888 4412.
Quarter scores (Team Bath first): Q1: 13-15, Q2: 16-10 (29-25), Q3: 20-4 (49-29), Q4: 20-4 (69-33)
GS Rosie Allison, GA Pamela Cookey, WA Mia Ritchie, C Jo Binns, WD Stacey Francis, GD Gemma Fletcher, GK Eboni Beckford-Chambers.
Q2 changes: Binns to WA, Ritchie to C, Scarlett Williams to WD, Beckford-Chambers to GD, Francis to GK. Q3 changes: Kirsty Delves to GS, Katy Rose to WA, Fletcher to WD. Q4 changes: Cookey to GS, Asha Tett to GA.
GS Jo Walker, GA Rachel Shaw, WA Nat Haythornthwaite, C Nat Panagarry, WD Steph Wilson, GD Danni Bloomfield, GK Lauren Potter.
Q3 changes: Jo Davies to WD. Q3 injury time out change: Fran Marshall to GS. Q4 changes: Shaw to GS, Haythornthwaite to GA, Marshall to WA, Potter to GD, Kate Lightfoot to GK Q4 injury time out Francine Hall to C.
Team Bath shooting stats:
Rosie Allison: 20 from 28 (71 per cent)
Pamela Cookey: 40 from 44 (91 per cent)
Kirsty Delves: 4 from 9 (44 per cent)
Asha Tett: 5 from 6 (83 per cent)
For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518.