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.