Team Bath’s run of six Superleague wins hit the buffers tonight (Monday) in a 34-44 defeat to Mavericks at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
An error-prone performance from Team Bath saw the visitors extract revenge for defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
Now Team Bath coach Jess Garland faces the task of boosting her side’s confidence for back-to-back matches at the weekend away on Saturday to Celtic Dragons and at home on Sunday to table-toppers Surrey Storm.
“We weren’t good enough tonight”, said Garland. “There were too many errors and we didn’t string together a long enough patch of the good stuff. Now we need to be clinical against Celtic Dragons to set ourselves up for a run at Storm on Sunday. It’s a good opportunity for us”.
Tonight’s Hertfordshire visitors meanwhile were fired up from the outset and led 7-4 by halfway through the first quarter.
Seasoned former international Amanda Newton was outstanding in defence against young Team Bath goal-shooter Rosie Allison. Rose Morgan-Smith and Karen Atkinson gave Mavericks a mobile centre-court attack and their shooters hit an on-song night.
Bath fought back to level at 8-8 with two minutes of the opening quarter remaining. They moved to 9-8 with 90 seconds to go and held that margin at the break. It proved downhill from there.
Garland brought Asha Tett on at goal-attack for the second quarter, giving further mobility in attack. But Mavericks outplayed the home side in the second quarter to lead to lead 16-12, 19-16 and finally 22-17 by half-time.
Stacey Francis and Eboni Beckford Chambers were both penalised regularly in the Team Bath defence whilst the home-side’s mid-court players were made to work hard to find a route into the Team Bath shooters. Tett will no doubt also rue the two free-shots she missed when Bath were 16-19 behind.
Whilst Mavericks coach Maggie Jackson stuck to her winning formula Garland switched Cookey to goal-shooter, to take on Newton.
But with both Cookey and Tett missing chances in the opening minutes of the second half, Mavericks stretched their lead once more to 27-19. A rare flowing period for Team Bath brought the deficit back to 25-30 but Mavericks were quick to take their chances and edge further ahead and close out the quarter at 32-26.
In a high-tempo final quarter, Mavericks once more capitalised on every opportunity to keep up the pressure in defence and the heat in attack to run out 44-34 victors.
“I’m really, really pleased with the win and with all the players stepping up and taking responsibility”, said Jackson. “We were mobile in attack to give us options but all the team worked really hard to contain what Team Bath love to do which is to attack. They all did their jobs superbly”.
TeamBath return to action on Saturday (27 March) away against Celtic Dragons before returning home on Sunday (28 March) night when they take on this year’s headline-grabbers Surrey Storm with the match starting at 4.30pm. For ticket information please go to http://www.teambath.com/netball/netball-performance/co-operative-superleague/ <http://www.teambath.com/netball/netball-performance/co-operative-superleague/>
Quarter scores (TeamBath first): Q1 9-8; Q2: 8-14 (17-22); 9-10 (26-32); 8-12 (34-44.
Starting sevens: TeamBath: GS Rosie Allison, GA Pamela Cookey (capt), WA Sasha Corbin, C Jo Binns, WD Serena Guthrie, GD Stacey Francis, GK Eboni Beckford-Chambers. Bench: Kirsty Delves, Lindsey Keable, Lois Rideout, Asha Tett, Amanda Trounce.
Q2 changes: Tett to GS; Allison to bench; Q3 Beckford-Chambers to GK, Francis to GD; Cookey to GS, Tett to GA.
Starting Sevens: Hertfordshire Mavericks: GS Vicklyn Joseph, GA Ella Clark, WA Rose Morgan-Smith, C Karen Atkinson (capt), WD Camilla Buchanan, GD Naida Hutchinson, GK Amanda Newton. Bench: Goergia Schmidt, Hazel Schofield, Naomi Stenhouse, Monique Wood, Sophia Candappa.
TeamBath: Pamela Cookey 8 from 12 - 66.67%; Rosie Allison 7 from 9 - 77.78%; Asha Tett 9 from 16 – 60%.
Hertfordshire Mavericks: Vicky Joseph – 23 from 33 69.70%; Ella Clark 21 from 24 – 87.50%
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
photos Janos Schmidt