Reigning Netball Superleague champions TeamBath overcame a stern challenge by Mavericks in the Netball Superleague Major Semi-final this weekend, winning 61-45 to take up their place in the Grand Final.
The victory, TeamBath’s 15th straight win of the season, was founded on a superb centre court performance from England internationals Sara Bayman, Tamsin Greenway and Jo Binns, who drove the ball at pace through the midcourt to set up shooting opportunities for fellow internationals Pamela Cookey and Rachel Dunn, who scored with ease despite the close attention of Mavericks Amanda Newton and Janet Coulburne. For Mavericks, Louisa Brownfield was the pick of the shooters, netting 26 of her 28 attempts, but TeamBath’s strength in depth across the court meant that the champions created 17 more shooting opportunities overall throughout the match.
Photograph shows Loughborough Lightning celebrating their win, over a dejected Brunel Hurricanes side.
Mavericks will now need to regroup ahead of next weekend’s minor final, where they meet Loughborough Lightning in a game which will decide the second Grand Finallist. Led by former England captain Olivia Murphy, Loughborough maintained their form and their nerve to overcome a spirited Brunel Hurricanes’ side 39-37. Hurricanes were inspired by another strong defensive performance from young England star Naida Hutchinson, who caused all sorts of problems for the Loughborough front line. Meanwhile, in only her third senior game at this level, 20 year old Vicklyn Joseph impressed for Brunel, scoring 22 of her side’s goals, but her efforts were matched by Welsh star Becky James, who netted 23 for Loughborough.
Next week’s Minor Final is to be played at the University of Hertfordshire’s Sports Village at Hatfield, on Saturday 2 June, starting at 5.00pm. Meanwhile, the Grand Final will be played at the Guildford Spectrum Centre on Saturday 9 June, starting at 5.45pm. Tickets are available for both games now: for more information, please visit www.englandnetball.co.uk.
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A Gutsy performance from both sides