An evening of tears, cheers and high emotion as capacity crowd bring the noise for Team Bath Netball’s last Super League home game

31 May 2024

Nineteen years after first blazing a Blue and Gold trail for elite netball in the UK, Team Bath tonight played their last-ever Super League home match on an evening of high emotion at the Team Bath Arena.

There was to be no final win to mark the occasion, visitors Strathclyde Sirens – themselves nearing the end of their Super League journey – winning the last quarter to secure their first victory of the 2024 season.

That did not stop a sell-out crowd of 1,750 fans raising the roof throughout the game and giving the home players an incredible standing ovation on the final buzzer.

Relive the evening here:

An evening that started with both sets of players being greeted by fireworks as they took to the court, as well as the Team Bath support staff and training partners, ended with tears on court and in the stands following moving addresses to the crowd from Head Coach Asha Francis and captain Bethan Dyke.

After wishing Sirens’ players and staff well for the future, Francis thanked Team Bath’s team behind the team – including the volunteers who have made the match-day experience so memorable over the years – before speaking to the fans directly.

Asha Francis addresses the home crowd. PICTURES: Bob Bradford

“I really appreciate every single one of you,” she said. “To all of you who have supported us through the good, the bad, the highs and the lows, we definitely couldn’t have done any of this without you and we are so, so grateful to have the best fans in the league.

“We really hope that, despite the decision that has been made, you continue to watch netball and that netball will still thrive in the South West, and we will come back bigger and stronger.”

Dyke added: “Devastation and shock are the only words I can use to describe the last few days. Team Bath has been a shining light since the beginning of the Super League and led from the front as a world-class franchise both on and off court.

“I remember my debut season and taking on Team Bath in the 2013 Grand Final [with Celtic Dragons], looking up to so many incredible role models on the court. Wearing the Blue and Gold has been a dream and to captain this incredible group of women this season has been an absolute honour.

“Team Bath is more than a franchise, it is a community and a family that is far bigger than just the game. To be a small part of this club has been a massive privilege.”

There was a full house for Team Bath’s last Super League home game

A host of Team Bath players and coaches from the past were among the capacity crowd including Anna Stembridge, Eboni Usoro-Brown, Rachel Dunn, Imogen Allison, Mia Ritchie, Laura Rudland and Amanda Varey.

They saw a hugely-entertaining contest where Team Bath edged the first quarter 14-12, although their lead should have been bigger as they were unable to capitalise on several turnovers.

The gap remained at two goals following an evenly-matched second quarter, both teams scoring 14 apiece, but Team Bath looked to closing in on victory as Kadeen Corbin – at her crowd-pleasing best – rattled off four of the first goals in the third quarter.

They remained clear going into the closing stages of the quarter but Sirens, showing tremendous resilience, scored seven of the last nine goals to level the scores at 41-41.

That set up an intense last 15 minutes which remained nip and tuck until midway through the quarter when Sirens were able to edge ahead. Team Bath were backed by an incredible roar as they looked to turn things around but Sirens held their nerve and pulled away to win 57-50.

Sophie Kelly was the last Team Bath player to score a Super League home goal before Sirens GA Cerys Cairns netted for the final time at the Team Bath Arena.

Corbin was voted by the fans as winner of Team Bath’s Most Valuable Player Award, sponsored by Results Body+Mind, and received a bouquet, supplied by Flowers of Bath, from Stuart Doughty, Chair of Team Bath Netball’s Advisory Board.

Team Bath have two more games to go in their Super League journey, away to Severn Stars on Friday 7th June (7.30pm) before heading across the Severn Bridge to face Cardiff Dragons on Saturday 15th June (6pm). Click here to purchase tickets for the Dragons game.

Team Bath Netball is supported by Bath Building Society and Rengen Developments, who are both overall Team Bath Partners. Flyhawk supply Team Bath’s performance clothing and off-court apparel.

Match stats

Team Bath Netball starting combination: GS Sloan Burton, GA Sophie Kelly, WA Kirsty Harris, C Bethan Dyke, WD Phoebe Maslen, GD Tash Pavelin, GK Jayda Pechova. Impact players: Emma Barrie, Lily-May Catling, Kadeen Corbin, Ellie Ervine, Lisa Putt.

Strathclyde Sirens starting combination: GS Cerys Cairns, GA Sammy Ngubane, WA Hannah Williams, C Hannah Leighton, WD Millie Sanders, GD Emily Nicholl, GK Cerys Finn. Impact players: Zara Flett, Emma Love, Towera Vinkhumbo.

Quarter scores (Team Bath first): Q1 14-12. Q2 28-26 (14-14). Q3 41-41 (13-15). Q4 50-57 (9-16).

Attendance: 1,750.

Team Bath Fans’ MVP, sponsored by Results Body+Mind: Kadeen Corbin.

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