Team Bath’s netballers picked up maximum points from their Fiat Superleague double-header this weekend with wins against Celtic Dragons and Team Northumbria to maintain a top four slot with four matches to go before the play-offs.
Back-to-back wins were important for coach Jess Garland after the previous double-header weekend saw Team Bath win convincingly on the Friday but losing on the Sunday.
Pre-weekend the former England international had told her players to concentrate on the process and not the outcome.
“It worked well”, she said. ‘We had better connectivity between different combinations on the court. I’m really pleased on all fronts”.
Before today’s game, Northern Thunder and Hertfordshire Mavericks topped the table on 22 points. Team Bath, the reigning Superleague champions, with 14 points, had a game in hand on third-placed Storm, with 16 points.
Fresh from their thumping 68-29 win over Celtic Dragons away on Friday, the reigning Superleague champions, wasted no time today in setting a winning agenda. They led 7-1 with five minutes gone and 19-8 by the quarter-break.
Coach Jess Garland made several changes for the second quarter giving a fresh set of players Mia Ritchie (centre), Scarlett Williams (wing-defence), and Rosie Allison (goal-shooter) a chance to add to the tally.
Garland’s counter-part Tracey Neville, sister of footballers Gary and Phil Neville, brought Jade Johnson on at goal-defence to counter the Team Bath aerial feed into the centre.
By half-time Team Bath, just that bit stronger in every department, had stretched their lead to 35-14.
Solid shooting from the home side’s Rosie Allison and sparkling defence in the second half led by Eboni Beckford Chambers and Stacey Francis saw Team Bath take the eventual victory 73-29.
“It was a good team effort today and the two matches have been amazing. We’ve really had a focus quarter by quarter”, said Team Bath captain Pamela Cookey. “It was particularly good to see the girls play so strongly in the second quarter”.
TeamBath, who are using Surridge kit this season, now continue their Fiat Superleague campaign with a home fixture against Leeds Carnegie on 30 April (16.00 at the Sports Training Village with pre-match entertainment 45 minutes in advance) before an away match at Northern Thunder on 9 May.
Team Bath’s final home match of the season will be on 12 May against Surrey Storm at 19.30 at the Sports Training Village.
To buy tickets please go to the ticketline at http://teambath.ticketline.co.uk/ or call the event ticketline on 0844 8884412.
Quarter scores (TeamBath first).
Q1 19-8; Q2 16-6 (35-14); Q3 22-6 (57-20); Q4: 16-9 (73-29)
TeamBath starting seven:
GS Asha Tett, GA Pamela Cookey (Capt), WA Katy Rose; C Serena Guthrie, WD Scarlett Williams, GD Eboni Beckford-Chambers. GK Sam Perry
Bench: Stacey Francis, Rosie Allinson, Mia Ritchie, Gemma Fletcher
Q2 changes: Fletcher B – GD, Ritchie B – C, Allison B – GS, Beckford Chambers GD – B, Tett GS – B, Guthrie C – B. Q3 changes: Francis B – GK, Beckford Chambers B – GD, Cookey B – GA, Guthrie B – WD, Fletcher GD – B, Scarlett Williams – WD – B, Sam Perry GK – B. Q4 changes: Rose WA – C, Ritchie C-WA, Fletcher B – GD, Perry B-GK, Tett B – GA, Francis GK – WD.
Coach: Jess Garland
Team Northumbria starting seven:
GS Darcie Worsdale; GA Olivia Mason; WA Vicky Burgess; C Tessa Burton; WD Kelly Martin (Capt); GD: Leah Kennedy; GK Abi Ryan
Bench: Jade Johnson, Sarah Penny, Josie Painton, Sarah Lambley, Jatlinda (Toetsie) Kambatuku
Q2 changes: Johnson B – GD, Kennedy GD – B, Q3 changes Burton C – WD, Martin WD – C, Kambatuku B – GS, Penny B – WA, Burgess WA – B. Q4 changes: Burton WD – C, Worsdale B – GS, Kambatuku GS – B.
Coach: Tracey Neville
TeamBath: Cookey 18 from 19 (94.7%); Tett 17 from 21 (80.95%); Allison 38 from 45 (84.4%)
Team Northumbria: Worsdale 13 from 20 (65%); Mason 15 from 19 (78.95%); Kambatuku 1 from 1 (100%).
For further information please contact the TeamBath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 443998 or (01225) 383518 or out of hours for this match (07831) 755351 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (07831) 755351