Team Bath Netball will go into their final home match of the 2017 Vitality Superleague season on the back of five straight wins after recording a well-earned 56-44 success at Team Northumbria on Monday.
The Sitec-sponsored Blue & Gold were made to work hard for the win in Newcastle but had the edge throughout, with all 12 players playing their part in another impressive performance.
The result means Team Bath stay level on points with fourth-placed Surrey Storm, who also won by a 12-goal margin at Celtic Dragons, and remain six points clear of Sirens, who beat Severn Stars 59-45 on an evening when all ten Superleague franchises were in action.
There are now just three games of the regular season remaining, starting with Sirens’ first-ever visit to the University of Bath Sports Training Village on Friday (7.45pm) for what promises to be another unmissable encounter.
Team Bath Head Coach Anna Stembridge said: “Sirens are coming off a good win against Severn Stars and will be buoyant but so are we – we are working hard and have put some really good performances together.
“We are really excited at having the opportunity to put out one last performance at home because the fans have just been sensational this season.
“The atmosphere at the Wasps game last week was absolutely electric and we have all been saying – the coaches, players and staff – how amazing the crowds have been. They have really got behind us and have made a huge difference.”
Team Bath’s latest win saw them quickly establish a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter before stretching it to 28-21 at half-time. A trademark third-quarter push gave the visitors a 45-32 advantage and, while Northumbria edged the final period by one goal, the Blue and Gold had done more than enough to secure the points.
“Team Northumbria away is always a tough one, so we knew we would have to work but credit to the girls, we got the result and we keep building,” said Stembridge.
“It was a bit patchy at times but there was also some very good attacking play and it was a real squad effort with all of the girls taking to the court and making big contributions. When you make changes it can sometimes take time for the team to settle but they all came on and had an immediate impact.”
A sixth successive win on Friday would move Team Bath up to fourth place for the weekend, with Storm not visiting Wasps until Monday, but Stembridge says she is trying not to think too much about the potential twists and turns ahead.
“We have to focus all of our energy on ourselves and try not to worry about what it is happening elsewhere,” she said. “We just have to concentrate on our performance on Friday and then see what happens from there.
“Sirens are also still mathematically in with a chance of finishing in the top four and I think that says everything about how competitive the league has been this year, that we are going into the last three games with only Loughborough Lightning and Wasps guaranteed a Final Four place.”
Tickets for the Sirens games are priced £12 for adults, £8 concessions and £35 for a family ticket. They are available at www.teambath.com/events/ticketline or by calling 0844 888 4412.