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Duchess of Sussex plays netball with Eboni Beckford-Chambers

The Duchess of Sussex teamed up with Commonwealth Games champion Eboni Beckford-Chambers on the netball court as the achievements of the We Are Coach Core 2018 Graduates were celebrated on Monday 24th September.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were visiting Loughborough University – the home of the England Roses and Loughborough Lightning – and couldn’t resist taking part in a spot of healthy competition.

In the end, the Duke of Sussex led his team to a 3-2 victory of the Duchess’ side, which included Beckford-Chambers.

The Team Bath defender was delighted to be involved in the day and that netball was the sport selected to showcase.

She said: “It was such a wonderful day celebrating the achievements of the We Are Coach Core 2018 Graduates.

“It was an honour to be on the Duchess of Sussex’s team as a We Are Coach Core Ambassador in the netball shootout and to see her delight in our wonderful sport!

“The fact that netball was the sport chosen to be showcased illustrates its growing popularity within the UK.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the day witnessing how the We Are Coach Core programme which provides coaching education continues to change and enhance  peoples lives through the power of sport.”

The Royal visit means that netball has once again hit the headlines across the country!

Here’s just a selection of the coverage from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s netball masterclass with Eboni Beckford-Chambers…

Make sure you’re following NetballSL on Twitter for the latest news and updates as excitement for the 2019 season ramps up!

Don’t miss out on the chance to see the Commonwealth Games champions in action on home soil for the first time since winning gold this autumn!

TeamBath Netball team 
22/11/2016
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Beckford-Chambers and Ritchie back in Blue & Gold

Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Mia Ritchie will be bringing their outstanding talent and experience back to the Blue & Gold for the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season after becoming the latest players to recommit to Team Bath Netball.

The duo can boast 17 seasons of playing experience between them in the famous Blue & Gold.

Inspirational defender Beckford-Chambers, captain of Team Bath for the past three years, was part of the England Netball squad that won a historic Commonwealth Games gold in 2018.

“I’m excited to be staying with Team Bath Netball for the 2019 season ahead of what will be an exciting year for netball in the UK,” said Beckford-Chambers, who combines her netball with being a Trainee Solicitor at West Country law firm Mogers Drewett.

“I’m very much looking forward to stepping back out in front of our Blue & Gold fans and putting my best foot forward as we aim to secure a sixth championship.”

Mid-court ‘pocket rocket’ Ritchie, a University of Bath graduate, is Team Bath’s longest-serving player and will wear the Blue & Gold for a tenth successive Vitality Netball Superleague season in 2019.

The Head of Girls’ Games at Monkton Combe School, Ritchie said: “I am very much looking forward to being back in the Blue & Gold this season.

“For me, there was never any doubt that I would re-sign with the team for a tenth season and I am excited at the prospect of playing with some world-class athletes. Team Bath has been a huge part of my life and I hope I can repay the club by putting my best foot forward this season.”

Beckford-Chambers and Ritchie will both continue to play strong leadership roles for Team Bath in 2019 alongside the two other confirmed names in the Vitality Netball Superleague squad, player-coach Rachel Shaw and returning England star Serena Guthrie.

Jess Thirlby, Team Bath Netball Head Coach, said: “Eboni and Mia are two of the longest serving players we have at Team Bath. Their loyalty is outstanding and can be a rarity in the competitive landscape we all now work in.

“They are well respected by their team-mates and are both favourites with the fans. We are so pleased that they believe the Blue & Gold remains the best place for them to develop and pursue another title with the team.

“What is so impressive is their desire to continue improving year on year. We have no doubt hey will continue to contribute to the team’s successes both on and off the court and we look forward to working with them and the team in 2019.”

Image credit: Team Bath Netball

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 www.teambath.com/events/ticketline or call 0844 888 4412.

TeamBath Netball 
12/02/16
claregreenphotography.com

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 http://www.teambath.com/events/ticketline/ or by calling 0844 888 4412.