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Wasps’ Greenway: “We’ll take nothing for granted in this game”

Table-toppers Wasps Netball go into this weekend’s Vitality Netball Superleague semi-final clash with Team Bath looking to take one step closer to retaining the Superleague trophy.

Tamsin Greenway’s side have won 16 out of their 18 league games so far this season, and go into Saturday’s clash at the University of Worcester Arena (5.45pm centre-pass) off the back of four consecutive victories, while Team Bath have lost their last three games against the top three sides.

“I don’t think we could be going into the semi-finals in any better way,” said Wasps Netball director Tamsin Greenway.

“There is the theory that if we finish top then we get an easier semi-final but I don’t think any of the teams in this year’s top four will look at each other and think ‘we want you’.

“We’ll take nothing for granted in this game, Bath are a quality side who are pretty much always in the top four. It only takes one game to turn it on its head so we have to be prepared and concentrate on our own game.”

The team will be preparing for the game over the next few days, with the winner set to face either Manchester Thunder or Loughborough Lightning at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday, July 7th.

“Experience speaks for a lot when it comes to finals and the reality is that every team is broken down in different ways. We will look at the video from Team Bath’s last outing, and depending on what we find, I will pick the team accordingly,” added Greenway.

Wasps finished the regular season three points clear of second place Manchester Thunder – an extra two wins than last season’s title-winning campaign, but Greenway is urging her players to focus on the task in hand.

“This is a complete clean slate now and the league doesn’t count for anything,” she said.

“The first job was to get into the top four but that’s gone now. I’ve been in competitions where I’ve won the league and not won the cup, and I’ve been in a situation where I’ve finished fourth in the league and won the cup so I know what the season is all about and now it is game on.

“We want as many Wasps supporters there as possible, they can really make a difference on the night, so we were adamant that we wanted to keep the game in the West Midlands to make it feel like a home game. We’ll be giving it everything on the night.”

Tickets for Wasps’ semi-final clash against Team Bath at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday June 30th can be purchased by visiting www.eticketing.co.uk/waspsnetball

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!

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Blue and Gold “ready to peak at right time”

Anna Stembridge believes that Team Bath Netball are ready to achieve their full potential in the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague – and is backing her players to do just that when they face Wasps in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The Blue and Gold completed their regular season by going toe to toe with fellow semi-finalists Manchester Thunder in an absorbing encounter, with nothing to separate the teams until the last five minutes when the home side managed to crank up the pressure and secure a 54-47 victory.

Team Bath’s place in the top four was already confirmed, though, following benecosMavericks’ 49-47 defeat at UWS Sirens on Thursday and Superleague Head Coach Stembridge said the performance against Thunder should give her players confidence as they enter the knockout stages.

And she is hoping that the Blue and Gold fans will turn out in force for Saturday’s semi-final against table-topping Wasps (5.45pm centre-pass), which is being played at the University of Worcester Arena.

“The slate is wiped clean now and, as we have seen many times in the past, anything can happen in a semi-final,” said Stembridge.

“We would have liked to go into the game on the back of a win at Thunder but we can certainly take huge positives from the way we performed for 55 minutes of that match against a team that has been in great form in recent weeks.

“We have to do it for 60 minutes but I am really excited because I know that our best performance is still to come and what better time would there be to do it than in the knockout stages?

“We have produced moments of brilliance against all of the top teams in the past couple of weeks and we are more than capable of beating them if we stick to our gameplan and play with confidence and belief.

“My belief in this squad has never wavered and if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. I know we have the ability to do that.

“The fact we are playing the semi-final at Worcester is an amazing opportunity – it is the next closest thing we could get to having a home semi-final as it isn’t too far for our fans to travel. They have been incredible this season and it would be brilliant if they could get behind us again – we’d love to see and hear them there.”

Team Bath have been given an additional boost in the build-up to the semi-final by the return of Jess Shaw, who had been sidelined by an ankle injury since early May.

She was straight back into the thick of the action against Thunder as Mia Ritchie suffered a heavy fall at the start of the second period and had to be withdrawn as a precaution.

“To come on at centre in such a physical, fast-paced match after five weeks out and have the impact that Jess had was absolutely fantastic,” said Stembridge. “It was a real baptism of fire but she dealt with it brilliantly and it’s great to have her back at this critical stage of the season.”

A top-quality Superleague contest saw Team Bath go goal for goal with Thunder before the hosts edged into a 28-24 lead at half-time. They stretched their advantage to eight at one point but the Blue and Gold responded brilliantly and won the second half of the third quarter 10-3 to cut the gap to 38-37 going into the final period.

The visitors then drew level and had a chance to take the lead but the opportunity was missed and Thunder took full advantage.

“It was disappointing how the scoreline blew out like that but it was a brilliant game and great preparation for the Wasps match,” said Stembridge.

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!

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Vitality Netball Superleague semi-finals confirmed

After 18 gruelling rounds, just 60 minutes stand between Wasps Netball, Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder, Team Bath Netball and the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final.

Both semi-finals will take place on Saturday 30th June and the details are as follows:

Semi Final 1 – Wasps Netball v Team Bath Netball – 17:45 centre-pass

Semi Final 2 – Loughborough Lightning v Manchester Thunder – 19:45 centre-pass

The teams who finished 1st and 2nd – Wasps and Lightning respectively – will host these semi-finals.

Both of these fixtures will be shown LIVE on Sky Sports!

The Grand Final will then take place on Saturday 7th July (17:00 centre-pass) at the Copper Box Arena.

Get your tickets now!