Team Bath's Eboni Beckford-Chambers during match against Surrey Storm

Bath lose out after second quarter slump

Team Bath played host to Hertfordshire Mavericks on this packed Monday night of netball but came away disappointed with their performance.

Anna Stembridge’s side lost 42-56 at the hands of Sam Bird’s Mavericks team.

The Team Bath match report is below:

Team Bath’s second quarter slump saw them come off second best in tonight’s Vitality Superleague encounter with Hertforshire Mavericks by 42-56 at the University’s Sports Training Village.

Claire Brownie, the Team Bath wing defence, said; “ We didn’t have the consistency tonight. We didn’t play for the 60 minutes so we are all frustrated as the score doesn’t reflect our ability but we will come out fighting on Friday against Loughborough”.

Team Bath have a triple-header in the space of seven days with a victory over Celtic Dragons last Saturday followed by tonight’s defeat.

The result tonight makes the home clash with Loughborough Lightning more acute on Friday with places in the top-four play-off zone still up for grabs.

Leading 10-5 in the first quarter tonight the Team Bath side were pegged back and overhauled just before the first interval at 10-11.

“That was disappointing”, said co-coach Jess Thirlby. “The momentum swung at the end of that first quarter and carried on into the second half”.

Jo Vann, the athletic and experienced home-side wing-attack contributed to the strong start for Bath which was built on defensive turn-over from goal-keeper and captain Eboni Beckford Chambers and goal-defence Karla Mostert.

Beckford Chambers was later named player of the match.

In a bruising encounter which regularly saw Vann and Team Bath centre Mia Ritchie skittling across the floor, Mavericks took hold of the second quarter of this match.

“It was a very physical and strongly-contested game”, said Head Coach Anna Stembridge.

Sophie Hankin, brought on at goal-attack for Mavericks, proved mobile out of the circle and deadly accurate inside it.

At the opposite end Lindsay Keable and Layla Guscoth were both aggressive and effective in the Mavericks defence to force Team Bath into multiple backward passes as the feeders toiled to find goal-attack Rachel Shaw and goal-shooter Lenize Potgieter.

“They had great range in the circle and we didn’t find a way to counter that”, said Stembridge.

At half-time with the score standing at 20-29, coach Anna Stembridge moved Ritchie to wing-attack and Vann to centre. A brief renaissance was thwarted when two chances for the otherwise accurate Bath shooter Potgieter went unconverted at 24-31.

“We did come back to within six after the break and the whole team is frustrated that we weren’t consistent enough and that the gap could have been closer going into the final 15 minutes”, said Thirlby.

Instead Mavericks, driven by some robust play by centre and Kiwi import Joline Johansson, piled on the points to lead 30-44 at three-quarter time.

Amanda Varey was brought on at wing-attack in the final quarter with Vann rested and Ritchie moving to centre.

Chelsea Lewis replaced Potgieter at goal-shooter and whilst there were some bright patches Mavericks held steady to win 42-56.

Team Bath will need to find the verve to bounce-back in the week’s second crucial encounter on Friday against Loughborough Lightning at home.

“We know that opposing teams will try and slow us down and stop our flow and we need to keep that flow going even under physical pressure”, said Stembridge.

Some tickets still remain for the Loughborough game, which starts at 7.45pm with doors open from 6.45pm. They are priced £10 for adults, £7 concessions and £28 for a family ticket.

To purchase, visit or call 0844 888 4412.

TeamBath Netball 

Bath ready to bounce back

The Vitality Netball Superleague is back in Round 4 action tonight as Team Bath host Team Northumbria.

After their loss at the hands of Manchester Thunder, Bath are ready to get back to winning ways tonight. Read more from the home side here:

Mid-courter Mia Ritchie believes Team Bath Netball will come back stronger from their Vitality Netball Superleague defeat to Manchester Thunder.

Team Bath go into this Friday’s home match against Team Northumbria (7.45pm) looking to bounce back immediately from the 62-37 reverse to an impressive Thunder outfit.

That was the first major setback for the new-look Team Bath squad, who were beaten just twice during pre-season and had won their opening two matches of the Superleague campaign.

And Ritchie says it is important to remember that this group is still developing, with defeats – and the way the players respond to them – all part of the learning curve.

“We as a team were disappointed with the result and performance against Thunder but we are sure going to right the wrongs this week,” said the Pocket Rocket.

“We expect so much from each other but we can’t forget that this team has only had a matter of months together to prepare for the challenge ahead.

“We know we can’t make any excuses for the result last Friday but we are only just heading into the fourth round of fixtures.

“Sometimes when you face a loss it defines you as a person or team, and this is now about how we move on and make sure we learn from our mistakes going into the Northumbria game.”

Team Northumbria will arrive at the University of Bath Sports Training Village looking for their first win of the season after a tough start.

They have lost to the top three teams in the table – Thunder, Surrey Storm and Hertfordshire Mavericks – but can boast Jamaican internationals Shanice Beckford and Nicole Dixon among their ranks, as well as vastly-experienced shooter Lynsey Armitage.

Friday’s match will be preceded by an exclusive coaching masterclass from Team Bath Netball Head Coach Anna Stembridge and Director of Netball Jess Thirlby, plus Emily Perry and Leanne Lewis. It is taking place from 6-7pm and is open to ticket holders only.

Tickets for the Northumbria game, as well as the other remaining home fixtures, are available from or by calling 0844 888 4412.

Anna Stembridge

Anna Stembridge says players will learn from loss

Team Bath Netball Head Coach Anna Stembridge says her players will learn valuable lessons from Friday’s 62-37 home defeat to Vitality Superleague rivals Manchester Thunder.

The visitors got off to a flying start and never looked back as they maintained their 100 per cent record with a convincing victory, underlining their dominance by winning the last quarter 16-8.

Stembridge said: “Credit to Thunder in terms of the way they started and finished the game. It’s disappointing that the scoreline blew out in the final quarter – to lose it 16-8 was not good enough and a bad day in the office in that respect.

“We knew tactically what Thunder would do and we looked to counter that but they executed their game plan very well.

“But we can only grow from this kind of experience. The players are really disappointed but they will learn from this and move forward.”

Both teams went into the match – played in front of a sell-out crowd of 1,600 fans – with confidence high after winning their opening two matches. However, it was the visitors who made the brighter start and they quickly raced into a 5-0 lead.

It was three minutes until Team Bath were able to produce their first attack, finished by Chelsea Lewis, and they remained on the back foot for much of the opening period.

Thunder’s high-tempo approach and slick passing, combined with the unerring shooting of England duo Helen Housby and Natalie Haythornthwaite, saw them establish a commanding 17-6 lead.

Team Bath’s best spell of the period, including a great aerial feed by Rachel Shaw, saw them pull four goals back and Lewis scored right on the buzzer to close the gap to 19-11.

The hosts needed a strong start to the second period but instead it was Thunder who turned the screw with an unanswered run of nine goals, stretching their lead to 29-12.

Lenize Potgieter came off the bench to replace Lewis at GS and quickly found her range, scoring six times as Team Bath gave the vocal home crowd something to cheer.

Asha Francis also scored on the stroke of half-time but Thunder were still firmly in the driving seat as they led 32-20.

With Liana Leota and Sara Bayman providing some outstanding feeds to the attacking duo of Housby and Haythornthwaite, Thunder were able to increase the gap to 36-21.

However, Team Bath were much improved in the third period – both in attack and defence – and were able to provide a more consistent feed to player of the match Potgieter.

The deficit was 44-31 going into the final quarter but any hopes of a Surrey Storm-style comeback were dashed as Thunder pulled away once again to win by 25 goals in a match sponsored by The Royal High School, Bath.

Carter Jonas are Team Bath Netball’s property partner, Surridge are the Team Bath kit supplier and Skins provide the team with compression wear.

Team Bath will be looking to bounce back in front of their home fans on Friday (February 19) when they entertain Team Northumbria (7.45pm).

Ticket-holders for that match will have access to an exclusive coaching masterclass from Team Bath Netball Head Coach Anna Stembridge and Director of Netball Jess Thirlby, taking place from 6-7pm.

Tickets for that game, as well as the other remaining home fixtures, are available from or by calling 0844 888 4412.

Match stats

Team Bath Netball

Starting seven: GS: Chelsea Lewis; GA: Asha Francis; WA: Rachel Shaw; C: Mia Ritchie; WD: Claire Brownie; GD: Karla Mostert; GK: Eboni Beckford-Chambers. Bench: Lenize Potgieter, Amanda Varey, Jo Vann, Alana John, Sarah Penny.

Changes: Q2: Lewis – GS to bench, Potgieter – bench to GS. Q4: Francis – GA to bench, Shaw – WA to GA, Vann – bench to WA, WA to C, Varey – bench to WA, Ritchie – C to bench.

Team Bath Netball Superleague squad 2016: Eboni Beckford-Chambers (C), Samantha Cook, Claire Brownie, Shaunagh Craig, Asha Francis, Nicole Humphrys, Alana John, Chelsea Lewis, Karla Mostert, Sarah Penny, Lenize Potgieter, Mia Ritchie, Rachel Shaw, Amanda Varey, Jo Vann.

Manchester Thunder

Starting seven: GS: Helen Housby; GA: Natalie Haythornthwaite; WA: Liana Leota; C: Sara Bayman; WD: Laura Malcolm; GD: Jodie Gibson; GK: Malysha Kelly. Bench: Ellie Cardwell, Amy Clinton, Emma Dovey, Gabby Marshall, Kathryn Turner.

Changes: Q4: Gibson – GD to bench, Dovey – bench to GD.

Manchester Thunder Superleague squad 2016: Kerry Anne Almond, Sara Bayman (C), Amy Clinton, Ellie Cardwell, Emma Dovey, Jodie Gibson, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Rebecca Hoult, Helen Housby, Malysha Kelly, Paige Kindred, Liana Leota, Laura Malcolm, Gabriella Marshall, Kathryn Turner.

Quarter scores (Team Bath first)

Q1: 11-19. Q2: 20-32 (9-13). Q3: 31-44 (11-12). Q4: 37-62 (6-18).

Dan Ryan

Thunder predict tough away test

We’re heard from the hosts, Team Bath – it’s now time to get some insight from their opponents Manchester Thunder.

Both sides are unbeaten going into tonight’s game and it will undoubtedly be a titanic battle between two of the Vitality Netball Superleague’s giants.

Read Thunder’s preview to tonight’s clash at Team Bath:

Manchester Thunder face their toughest challenge of the season yet with an away game against early league favourites Team Bath.

Both sides are unbeaten following the first two rounds, but Bath have been ruthless, despatching defending champions Surrey Storm in their opening fixture with an inspired late comeback.

Thunder will need to be at their absolute best for all four quarter to secure victory over Bath, who are a rejuvenated side this season, following a couple of seasons off the pace, for their high standards.

Every Superleague squad was bolstered in the off-season, with Bath bringing in England star Eboni Beckford-Chambers and South Africa shooter Lenize Potgieter, who played at the World Cup last summer.

Meanwhile Thunder notched up the highest total score of the season so far with a 72-52 win over Celtic Dragons last weekend at the Thunderdome and are showing good early-season form, too, with international signings Liana Leota and Malysha Kelly both excelling.

Black and Yellows coach Dan Ryan is well aware of the threat Bath pose to his side, but he believes they will be ready to push the Somerset-based team all the way in round three.

“Dragons were a really good test leading into the Bath game, with some really world class players out there. But for us now it is about going to the next level, ” he concedes.

“Team Bath are going to be one of the teams to beat and they will be full of confidence with what they have put out there so far this season,” the coach added.

Ryan says the squad have worked on how to ‘break down’ Bath in training, ahead of the key clash on Friday.

The 31-year-old said: “We’ll look at how we think we can break them down in terms of the game-plan and also look at what we can do to get the run on them.

“We’re looking forward to the contest. You play in these types of competitions to play against the best and Bath are the benchmark so we’re looking forward to it.

Win or lose, on Friday, Thunder will have little time to reflect, with their next clash in the league against Loughborough Lightning coming pretty swiftly on Monday, February 15, which will be screened live on Sky Sports.

Team Bath v Thunder, Friday, February 12, 7.45pm at Bath University.