Imogen Allison “super proud” as Team Bath stars past and present help England make history by reaching first Netball World Cup final
Australia proved too strong in Sunday’s final, clinching their 12th title with a 61-45 victory, but it was still a tournament to remember for the Vitality Roses, who are led by former Team Bath player and coach Jess Thirlby.
Blue & Gold mid-courter Imogen Allison – in her first World Cup – was a driving force at Centre as England won every group game before recording a 46-40 semi-final success against defending champions New Zealand on Saturday.
Also in the history-making squad were former Team Bath defenders Layla Guscoth and Geva Mentor, the latter enjoying her last Roses run-out in the final following a record-equalling sixth Netball World Cup appearance.
“We have to take this and run with it. If this is the first time we get to a final, the next time is the first time we win a gold.”
Allison started all eight matches for England, who eased through the first group stage by beating Barbados 90-29, Malawi 62-39 and Scotland 62-37.
Stage 2 saw England defeat Tonga 72-46, inspired by a player of the match performance from Allison, and Fiji 89-28 before recording a first-ever World Cup victory over Australia in thrilling fashion, the 56-55 win ensuring they finished top of their pool.
Three other Team Bath players were in action in South Africa, with Bethan Dyke – whose 144 feeds were the most of any player in the tournament – and NPL shooter Sarie Watkins helping Wales finish ninth overall. Their final placing match against Scotland, which the Feathers won 57-42, saw former Team Bath duo Emily Handysides and Tamsin Greenway on the opposing benches as Wales and Scotland Head Coaches respectively.
Team Bath’s Kadeen Corbin was one of the competition’s leading scorers with 175 goals as she made her Netball World Cup debut for Barbados, who placed 14th overall. Her sister Sasha, who used to play for Team Bath, made her final competitive appearance before retirement in Friday’s 75-48 defeat to Zimbabwe.
Focus now switches back to the domestic Super League competition, with Team Bath announcing their 2024 Super League squad shortly. Get the news first and direct to your inbox by signing up for our Team Bath Netball newsletter at netball.teambath.com/newsletter.
Top picture credit: Misha Jordaan/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023