Co-operative Netball Superleague GRAND FINAL
Match: Team Bath versus Mavericks
Venue: Coventry Skydome
Time: 1930 Saturday 4th April 2009.
TV: 1700: Sky Sports Xtra Thursday 9th April, 2009
Umpires: Gary Burgess and Judith Groves with third official Louise Travis
FULL TIME: TeamBath win 54-46
TeamBath have won the Co-operative Netball Superleague title after beating defending Champions Mavericks a 54-46. It caps a perfect season for the west country side who finish their 2008-09 fixtures unbeaten.
In what's become something of a trademark entrance for the side they blasted into an 11 goal lead after the first fifteen minutes (Q: 19-8) at Coventry's SkyDome. The shock and awe tactics have served them well across the season and proved decisive by the final quarter. Mavericks regained their composure somewhat to win the second quarter 12 goals to 10 but were still 9 behind at half-time (Q2: 29-20). The shooting pairings on both sides were statistically well matched when you looked at at the percentages after the game Louisa Brownfield 91% and Ella Clarke 83% for Mavericks - Rachel Dunn 82% and Pamela Cookey 93% but it's easier to see how the game was won when you see how many shots each side had; the defending champions netted 46 of their 52 chances - the winners in waiting 54 from 62.
The third quarter saw TeamBath turn up the heat (which was rather ironic as the court had been laid on top of Coventry's ice-rink) and by forcing errors were able to restore their 11-goal advantage going into the last quarter (Q:42-31) Special mention should be made of Bath centre Serena Guthrie who was everywhere in the match and showed no sign of flagging. It was just as well she was full of pep as once again the come-back queens of superleague netball were not ready to be beaten. In the semi-final against Loughborough, Mavericks had been out of the running 9-goals behind with 8 minutes to play in the match but they kept pushing and busied past Lightning to become they only superleague side to make the final four years on the trot. No one was willing to write them off in the showpiece. Bit by bit they hauled in the goals to trail by just 5 at one stage but TeamBath stayed focused kept possession, slowed their play down and finally won the match by 8 goals (although Mavericks won the final quarter 15-14).
TeamBath captain Pamela Cookey, who with a 93% shooting success rate was named Player of the Match, won't be resting up after the victory. Less than 24 hours after collecting the trophy the skipper is flying off to play in the ANZ for New Zealand side Northern Mystics.