TeamBath played their last home game of the season against Leeds Carnegie at the University of Bath on Saturday night, and secured a convincing 62-44 win.
The first quarter was a tight affair with Leeds staying in contention and snapping at the home sides heels, particularly after they went 3-0 down in the opening two minutes thanks to early goals from Asha Tett and Alison Cookey.
Rachel Shaw got the Yorkshire side’s first goal before TeamBath further extended their lead to 5-2 with Carla Dziwoki claiming one back for Leeds.
The visitors then proceeded to get themselves back into the game and goals were then traded on a regular basis between the teams, with TeamBath just keeping their noses in front.
In the closing minutes of the quarter Tett and Cookey both scored a brace of goals each to give the home side some breathing space. TeamBath went into the break 14-10 up.
Head coach Jess Garland made a number of changes during the interval. Cookey moved across to goal shooter with Tett moving to goal attack, with Sasha Corbin and Jo Binns also switching positions.
TeamBath got the second quarter off to a flier, scoring four goals in succession (with Cookey claiming a hatrick) before Dziwoki was able to finally get Leeds onto the scoreboard.
After the initial period where Bath were able to pull away from Leeds, both sides scored at regular intervals during the period but with the damage done early, TeamBath went into the half-time break 29-22 to the good.
In scoring terms, the second quarter belonged to both Dziwoki and Cookey with both players managing to find the basket with virtually every shot they had at goal. Cookey scored 13 out of 14 attempts while Dziwoki got 11 out of 11.
After a complete team reshuffle, TeamBath came out into the third quarter in a determined state of mind. However it was Leeds who got the initial momentum with two goals from Dziwoki in the 29th minute and another from substitute Jo Walker.
The fight back from the visitors did not last long. Cookey and Alison were on fire, with TeamBath commanding the midfield and supplying their shooters with a number of goal scoring opportunities.
Between them Cookey and Alison scored 18 goals to take the game completely away from the visitors.
The quarter finished with Walker scoring for Leeds but it was TeamBath who dominated the period, with the home side racing to a 47-28 lead.
TeamBath made only one change in the final quarter with Sasha Corbin moving to wing attack.
The quarter started well for TeamBath with Cookey and Alison scoring four goals between them in the 43rd minute but Leeds were not going to let a repeat of the one-way traffic of the previous quarter re-occur.
Dziwoki and substitute Shaw kept the Leeds score ticking over, helping to outscore TeamBath in the final quarter.
Alison secured victory for TeamBath with a goal in the last minute.
Despite having already qualified for the end of season play-offs, TeamBath have two more regular season games to come before they know whom they will face. Both games are on the road, against Loughborough Lightning on April 15 and Glasgow Wildcats on April 17.
TeamBath captain Pamela Cookey said: “It was a good final scoreline for us after the difficult start we made to the match. We did the job, all our players got on and it was good preparation for our next two matches as well as for the play-offs”
TeamBath assistant coach Anna Mayes said: “We were really please with our performance in the third quarter especially from those players who came into the game during that period.
“We effectively saw this game as part of a larger picture that encompasses out next two games against Loughborough and Glasgow. We played against a good side tonight that defended well and gave us good preparation for our upcoming games.”
Leeds captain Jo Davies said: “Apart from the third quarter, we challenged really hard throughout the match against what was at times a side made up of a number of the English national side”
Leeds coach Anna Newell said: We had three good quarters but the third quarter killed us. We are moving forward with our performances and we can take some satisfaction from our performance, particularly from the last quarter.”
Match stats TeamBath v Leeds Carnegie
Quarter scores (TeamBath first): Q1 14-10, Q2 15-12 (29-22), Q3 18-6 (47-28), Q4 15-16 (62-44)
TeamBath: GS Asha Tett, GA Pamela Cookey (capt), WA Jo Binns, C Sasha Corbin, WD Serena Guthrie, GD Stacey Francis, GK Eboni Beckford-Chambers.
Bench: Rosie Allison, Kirsty Delves, Lindsay Keable, Amanda Trounce.
Q2 Changes. Cookey to GS, Tett to GA, Binns to C, Corbin to WA
Q3 Changes. Keable to GK, Beckford-Chambers to GD, Francis to WD, Guthrie to C, Trounce to WA, Cookey to GA, Allison to GS
Q4 Changes. Corbin to WA
Leeds Carnegie: GS Carla Dziwoki, GA Rachel Shaw, WA Natalie Haythornthwaite, C Natalie Penagarry , WD Danielle Bloomfield , GD Jo Davies, GK Lauren Potter.
Bench: Jo Walker, Steph Wilson, Lisa Ferneyhough, Afrika Morris, Laura Gregory.
Q3 Changes: Bloomfield to WA, Wilson to WD, Walker GS, Morris to GK, Dziwoki to GA.
Q4 Changes: Dziwoki to GS, Shaw to GA.
Rosie Allison – 17 from 21 – 77%
Pamela Cookie – 35 from 39 – 90%
Asha Tett – 10 from 15 – 67%
Carla Dziwoki – 33 from 38 – 87%
Rachel Shaw – 8 from 15 – 53%
Jo Walker – 3 from 7 – 43%
photos Janos Schmidt