Leeds Carnegie 36 Team Bath 69
Meanwhile, reigning champions TeamBath, hit by injuries and player movement to the ANZ Championships in the Southern Hemisphere, kept their own play off aspirations alive with a 69-36 win over Leeds Carnegie. With England GA Asha Tett suffering from a broken finger, and England U21 defender Stacey Francis out for the rest of the season with a broken hand, suffered while playing for England at the Netball Europe Open championships last weekend, TeamBath Jan Crabtree named some new faces in her match squad, with teenage shooter Rosie Allison making her debut in the Co-operative Netball Superleague during the course of the game.
Throughout the match England centre court trio of Sasha Corbin, Jo Binns and Sara Bayman was once again the driving force for TeamBath, and their strength and speed allowed them to push the ball through midcourt at lightning speed. England U21 star Serena Guthrie demonstrated why she is such an exciting prospect for the future with another impressive performance at WD against the experienced Loren Taylor. Leeds Carnegie put up a stern contest for the first half of the game, losing the first and second quarters by only five goals each (12-17 and 10-15). However, they were simply unable to keep up with the pace and accuracy of the TeamBath line up, and with another international Eboni Beckford Chambers putting in another powerful defensive performance, the Leeds error rate crept up and the shooting opportunities started to fade away for the home side. Pamela Cookey was once again TeamBath’s shooting star, netting 39 goals from 46 attempts, supported by 22 goals from England U21 Kirsty Delves.
The victory leaves the reigning champions in equal fourth place – they will need to win both of their remaining fixtures, against Celtic Dragons and Northern Thunder, if they are to attain a coveted play off place.
Brunel Hurricanes need to win all three of their remaining matches to be in with a chance of qualification for the play offs: they start their challenge today (Sunday) at the Guildford Spectrum Centre against bottom side Northern Thunder (play starts at 5.00pm). Meanwhile, third placed Mavericks travel to Loughborough University on Monday night (7.30pm start) to face Loughborough Lightning – Mavericks’ play off ambitions rest with their taking two wins from their final three games (they play Loughborough, Brunel and Northumbria), while Loughborough can secure their own play off place with a win tomorrow evening.
The end of season play offs in the Co-operative Netball Superleague start on 15 March 2008, with two matches to be played at the Ponds Forge Sports Centre at 1.00pm and 3.30pm. The second round will be played on 29 March 2008, and the Grand Final of this year’s competition takes place on 05 April 2008 at the K2 Centre in Crawley (play starts at 7.30pm
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com