Team Bath’s young guns produced a spirited fight back against top of the table Surrey Storm before going down 65-52 in tonight’s Fiat Netball Superleague fixture at the University of Bath.
The visitors did the damage in the opening quarter, which they took 21-8. But Team Bath battled back to take the second quarter by two goals and Storm edged both the third and fourth quarters by a single goal to secure the points.
Jess Garland, Team Bath head coach, said: “We had enough possession and turnover ball to stay with them in the first quarter. However our response was really good and definitely a step forward from Monday night’s game. But we’re going to have to start off a lot better in our remaining fixtures.
“It was good to see some fight and some intelligent thinking out there from some young and inexperienced players. We were playing a team that are expected to finish in the top-two, but we showed there wasn’t much between us,” she added.
“We showed some good learning from our game on Monday and hopefully that will prepare us well for our next games.”
Tamsin Greenway, Storm’s player/coach said she was pleased with the win. “We killed them in the first quarter and we got the win,” she said. “We kept the lead and we put a big score on the board, so I’m happy.”
Storm arrived in Bath with a 100 per cent record after winning both of their opening games. Their starting seven featured four former Team Bath players, including the experienced England attacking trio of Rachel Dunn, Pamela Cookey and Tamsin Greenway.
They got off to a flier, with some clinical finishing by Dunn and Cookey and built up a 13-goal advantage in the first 15 minutes.
It looked ominous for Team Bath. But, roared on by a 1,200-strong crowd, Team Bath’s youngsters dug deep in the second quarter.
Eighteen-year-old University of Bath student Yasmin Parsons impressed coming on at wing attack for her first taste of home Superleague action, with another teenager, Sam Cook, showing maturity beyond her years marking the experienced Dunn.
The effervescent Mia Ritchie, meanwhile, was enjoying a decent midcourt battle against Storm captain Becky Trippick, supplying plenty of ball for Kadeen Corbin and Asha Francis to enable Team Bath to take the second quarter 17-15.
There was little to separate the two teams in the remaining quarters, with Team Bath using their possession well and patiently probing for weaknesses in Storm’s well marshalled defence, and with Corbin and Francis both keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
Fletcher and Cook’s defensive partnership grew as the game went on, with Trounce returning to the court for the final push in the last quarter.
Surrey Storm returned home with the points, but they left the Sports Training Village knowing they’d been made to work for them.
As Team Bath captain Asha Francis put it: “We need to come out of the starting blocks better so we don’t have to fight our way back into games.
“It’s credit to the girls that after going down by 13 in the first quarter we fought our way back. It’s a steep learning curve, but we showed the fight that Team Bath has always had.”
Team Bath return to action with a trip to Loughborough Lightning on Monday 13 February and then to Team Northumbria on Saturday 18 February, before home fixtures against Hertfordshire Mavericks on Thursday 23 February and Yorkshire Jets on Friday 2 March. For further fixture and ticket information please see the Team Bath website at http://www.teambath.com/sport/netball/superleague/
Team Bath: GS Asha Francis (capt) , GA Kadeen Corbin, WA Mia Ritchie, C Amanda Trounce, WD Becky Watkins, GD Gemma Fletcher, GK Sam Cook.
Bench: Kat Hayes, Kate McGinley, Emily Rose, Scarlett Williams, Yasmin Parsons.
Q2 changes: Corbin to GS, Francis to GA, Parsons to WA, Ritchie to C. Q4 change: Trounce to WA. Timeout change: Williams to WD.
Surrey Storm: GS Rachel Dunn, GA Pamela Cookey, WA Tamsin Greenway, C Becky Trippick (capt), WA Natalie Seaton, GD Katy Holland, GK Hannah Reid.
Bench: Adele Modeste, Rhianne McHale, Kat Ainsworth, Lorraine Betsy, Steff Bello.
Q3 changes: Ainsworth to C. Q4 change: Trippick to WD.
Quarter scores (Team Bath first):
Q1: 8-21 Q2 17-15 (25-36) Q3: 15-16 (40-52) Q4: 12-13 (52-65)
Team Bath: Asha Francis 19 from 25 (76 per cent), Kadeen Corbin 33 from 46 (72 per cent)
Surrey Storm: Rachel Dunn 45 from 50 (90 per cent), Pam Cookey 20 from 25 (80 per cent)
For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518 or by email at email@example.com
You can also find out more about Team Bath at www.teambath.com , follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teambath or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/teambath
The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.