Head Coach Anna Stembridge praised her players for showing “true character” as Team Bath Netball got back to winning ways with a 48-39 victory in their first-ever Vitality Netball Superleague derby encounter with new franchise Severn Stars.
A remarkable run of 14 unanswered goals in the third quarter proved decisive as the Blue and Gold – sponsored by Sitec – turned a 23-21 half-time deficit into an emphatic 40-27 lead going into the final period of Saturday’s game at the University of Worcester.
Stars cut the winning margin to nine goals but the damage had been done as Team Bath put the previous week’s home defeat to Loughborough Lightning firmly behind them.
“I was really proud of how the girls bounced back from the Lightning game,” said Stembridge. “We were obviously disappointed with that result but we showed our true character on Saturday.
“We expected it to be a hotly-contested derby and it delivered on that front but we had done our homework on Stars and were clear with our game plan which I felt we executed really well, if inconsistently, during the first half.
“We were absolutely on point in the third quarter, right across the court. Chelsea Lewis was outstanding, scoring 18 out of 18, and the defence were a dominant force. The only disappointment was that we didn’t follow that up in the fourth quarter – we knew Stars would come out with all guns blazing and we lost our discipline a bit in the last ten minutes.”
Next up for the Blue and Gold are two home matches at the University of Bath in the space of a week – against defending champions Surrey Storm on Monday, March 20, and Team Northumbria on Friday, March 24 (centre-pass for both is 7.45pm).
Storm are one of only two teams in the Superleague still to boast a 100 per cent record after the opening four matches and Stembridge knows her team will have to be focused throughout.
“We have to make sure we eradicate the errors and are not as wasteful at times when we are in possession – we will be punished for those mistakes against a team like Storm,” she said.
“We won a lot of clean turnover against Stars, which will be essential against Storm, and we have to be clinical and positive in attack. We’ll have a game plan again and we must have the confidence to execute it.”
Tickets for both games, as well as Team Bath’s six other remaining home matches, are on sale now priced £12 for adults, £8 concessions and £35 for a family ticket. They are available by clicking here or calling 0844 888 4412.
Team Bath Netball are sponsored by Sitec, Mogers Drewett are their Education Partners, Centurion Wealth Management are supporting the team’s performance analysis capabilities, Surridge are the kit supplier and Skins provide the team with compression wear.
Thank you to Razorlight Imagery for kindly sharing the pictures from Saturday’s game.