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Stembridge excited for televised game

Anna Stembridge says she is “super excited” ahead of Team Bath Netball’s first home game of the 2019 Vitality Superleague season – Monday’s televised showdown against Surrey Storm.

The Sitec-sponsored Blue & Gold go into the match (7pm centre-pass) as the only team to have won their opening two Superleague fixtures so far thanks to encouraging victories over Celtic Dragons at Super 10 and Strathclyde Sirens in Scotland.

Head Coach Stembridge was particularly pleased with the performance and result in the latter game as a Team Bath squad without England stars Eboni Usoro-Brown and Serena Guthrie overcame a strong fourth-quarter fightback from Sirens to win 55-45.

“Sirens is always a hard place to go but we produced a performance of real grit and character,” she said. “It was really impressive to see our young squad step up and show such strength and composure, it felt like a real step forward compared to previous seasons.”

University of Bath student Imogen Allison wore the captain’s armband for the Sirens game and led by example with another excellent performance at wing-defence, building on her player of the match display in the 58-41 victory over Dragons.

“Eboni and Serena are co-captains this season but we have leaders right across the squad,” said Stembridge. “Imogen was captain against Sirens, as she was for the Fast 5 tournament, and she really delivered both in leading the team and in her own personal performance.”

While Usoro-Brown and Guthrie were helping England finish runners-up in a world-class Quad Series last weekend, the rest of the Team Bath squad kept things ticking over with a training session against the Knights national men’s team.

“It’s the second time that Knights have trained with us this season and the sessions have been of a really good standard both times,” Stembridge added. “It was a great opportunity to work on different combinations that we haven’t had chance to use in the first couple of games.

“We are super excited for our first home game of the season, nothing beats playing in the Team Bath Arena and we can’t wait to see our home fans again.

“Storm have lost their first two matches but they certainly cannot be underestimated, especially as they will have their two South African players [Sigi Burger and Shadine Van Der Merwe] back. We know they will definitely give us another big test but we are looking forward to it.”

Doors open for the Storm game at 6pm and tickets are available to purchase here.

Photo Credit: Eliza Morgan

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