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Robinson and Varey confirmed!

Rising star Abi Robson and experienced international Amanda Varey are the two latest players to be confirmed in the Team Bath Netball squad for the 2019 Vitality Superleague season.

Nineteen-year-old Robson, a Geography student at the University of the West of England in Bristol, made her Superleague debut last season and plays at both wing-defence and centre.

She has international age-group experience with England, helping both the U17 and U21 teams to victory in Netball Europe competitions and touring New Zealand with the Roses at U19 level.

“I learnt so much during my first season and I’m looking forward to gaining more opportunities in the year ahead. It is a great squad to be part of, everyone gets on so well, and it is an incredible training environment.”

Varey – who played for Wales at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games – is returning for her fourth spell with Team Bath having previously won the Superleague title in Blue & Gold in 2010 and 2013.

The wing-attack spent last season with Celtic Dragons but continued to do some of her training at the University of Bath and is thrilled to be back in the colours she first represented 12 years ago while combining netball with studying Pharmacy.

“I feel incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to be back in the Blue & Gold dress this season,” said Varey, who is now Lead Critical Care Pharmacist at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath.

Jess Thirlby, Head Netball Coach for Team Bath, added: “Abi is one of our bright young talents and has been improving year on year for the last few seasons. She has a great attitude to learning, a great work ethic and she leads by example.

“Abi is a determined defender who applies herself to any challenge thrown at her. She is a great role model for all those athletes in our Academy and beyond, and has a bright future with this team.

“We are so pleased to welcome Amanda back after spending time with Celtic Dragons to support her national squad aspirations with Wales, which we are very proud of. She is one of the longest serving and most loyal Team Bath players of all time.

See Team Bath in action at Super 10 – get your squad together and head to the season opener on Saturday 5th January 2019 at Arena Birmingham!

You can view all Team Bath home games and ticket information at netball.teambath.com/tickets

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British Fast5 All-Stars Championship results

Played in front of a packed Copper Box Arena, the British Fast5 All-Stars Championship featured 12-minute matches, an all-star 5-point line and a Golden Buzzer Power Play as the top eight Vitality Netball Superleague teams battled it out for their share of a £100,000 prize fund.

Wasps Netball took home the title as they beat benecosMavericks 42-32 in a captivating final game.

It was the perfect ending to an action-packed day, with MVP Rachel Dunn playing a pivotal part in Wasps’ victory and making particularly good use of the double-point power plays throughout their games.

Wasps scored a combined 123 points in their three matches prior to the final and continued to score regularly in the showpiece, beating benecosMavericks to claim the £25,000 winner’s prize.

Speaking post-match, Dunn said: “Thankfully my shooting arm was on fire today. It was great fun and an awesome tournament to be a part of. As the games went on I knew I was shooting well and the other shooters stepped up when needed.

“We knew Mavs were playing really well and shooting really well so we know we had to be better.”

Last year’s winners Loughborough Lightning were knocked out before the semi-finals by Surrey Storm, whose team included defender Sharni Layton who was playing the final event of her career.

The event, which was jam-packed with screaming fans, provided unlimited amounts of entertainment as promised throughout the entire day.

The results of the event were as follows:

Double elimination stage

Loughborough Lightning 19-21 Surrey Storm
Strathclyde Sirens 4-15 Severn Stars
Team Bath 23-18 Manchester Thunder
benecosMavericks 31-41 Wasps Netball
Surrey Storm 12-28 Severn Stars
Team Bath 23-37 Wasps Netball
Loughborough Lightning 32-28 Strathclyde Sirens
Manchester Thunder 22-32 bencosMavericks
Surrey Storm 15-6 Loughborough Lightning
Team Bath 21-47 benecosMavericks

Semi-Finals
Wasps Netball 45-36 Surrey Storm
Severn 8-38 benecosMavericks

The Final
Wasps Netball 42-32 benecosMavericks

Tickets are now on sale for Super 10 – get your squad together and head to the season opener on Saturday 5th January 2019 at Arena Birmingham!

JUST EAT BRITISH ALL-STARS FAST FIVE NETBALL
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FINAL
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Teams gear up for British Fast5 All-Stars Championship

Teams are gearing up for this weekend’s British Fast5 All-Stars Championship, where some familiar faces are set to return to court.

A shorter and quicker version of the traditional seven-a-side game, Fast5 gives teams a fast paced, exhilarating 12 minute game format, where teams can boost points with the golden buzzer and five point shots from within the court.

Loughborough Lightning made history as the first ever winners of the competition, scooping a whopping £25,000 prize fund in the process and will be back this year to defend their title.

With new Head Coach Sara Bayman’s team for the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season coming together now, her attention will turn towards the side that will aim to lift the trophy once again this weekend.

She said: “This year’s Lightning Fast5 squad is an exciting mixture of youth and experience. Naturally our aim is to defend our title, but Fast5 is about having fun and we’ve got some real crowd pleasers in this team.”

After a stellar four years with the Lightning side, Ugandan powerhouse Peace Proscovia will make her final appearance in purple before her move to Australia, where she will begin training with Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Linking up with Proscovia in the shooting circle is long bomb queen Renske Stoltz, the South African making a welcome return to the competition after being named MVP (most valuable player) 12 months ago.

The teams preparing to compete this Saturday include:

  • Loughborough Lightning
  • Wasps Netball
  • Manchester Thunder
  • Team Bath
  • benecosMavericks
  • Severn Stars
  • Surrey Storm
  • Strathclyde Sirens

Tickets for the event are still available, so why not treat yourselves to a day in the capital to witness all the action unfold live?

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#VNSL2018 review: Team Bath Netball

W L + +/- GA Pts
11 8 961 903 58 1.06 33

 

Round-by-Round Recap

Round 1 – Team Northumbria 39 – 52 Team Bath Netball

A well-earned 52-39 victory at Team Northumbria and the opportunity to give all 12 squad members some game time made for an encouraging start to the 2018 season for Team Bath Netball. The Blue and Gold won three quarters and were edged out by just one goal in the other as they came through an intense opening match.

Round 2 – Celtic Dragons 35-54 Team Bath Netball

Despite the result, it was certainly an improved performance from Celtic Dragons. The lapses in concentration that had affected them in Round 1 were far fewer however vice-captain Kelly Morgan was keen to see further improvements. Morgan said: “I think we could have done more to stop some their runs in the game, but credit to the defenders in front of me who helped get us some turnovers at the back.

Round 3 – Team Bath Netball 60-44 Surrey Storm

At the end of a fluctuating first quarter, there was nothing to separate the two sides before the Blue and Gold gave a sell-out crowd of 1,420 supporters plenty to cheer during a stunning second period. Team Bath converted numerous turnovers as they stormed into a 32-20 half-time lead. Surrey Storm battled away in the second half but the damage had already been done. 

Round 4 – Severn Stars 47-48 Team Bath Netball

Severn Stars suffered defeat in the final seconds of the match for the second time this season. The team took a 10 goal lead at one stage, and, with six minutes to go, were three points in front. But, in a tight last 30 minutes and frantic finale, relentless pressure from Team Bath saw them net a dramatic winner with less than 10 seconds left on the clock.

Round 5 – Team Bath Netball 60-34 UWS Sirens

The Blue and Gold set the tone during a phenomenal first quarter as they stormed into a 17-4 lead. UWS Sirens battled back in a feisty and physical affair but Team Bath proved their top four credentials by remaining composed throughout to extend their advantage. 

Round 6 – Team Bath Netball 51-60 Manchester Thunder

An inspired Manchester Thunder saw-off Team Bath. From the outset Thunder were intense and clinical, especially in attack, and were not fazed by coming up against one of the best defences in the league. Team Bath Netball battled hard and enjoyed periods of dominance but they had no answer to Thunder’s fluidity and pressure, most notably in the second half.

Round 7 – Loughborough Lightning 54-59 Team Bath Netball

Team Bath took a one-goal lead in the first quarter and were ahead 31-29 at half-time. There were moments in the game when the Blue and Gold squad surged ahead only for Loughborough to battle back in a thrilling contest. A strong third quarter, which Team Bath finished with a six-goal lead, ultimately seemed to make the difference.

Round 8 – Wasps Netball 61-44 Team Bath Netball

Wasps Netball secured a comfortable victory on their return to Vitality Netball Superleague action. Commonwealth Games gold medal winners Natalie Haythornthwaite and Jade Clarke returned for Wasps, with England teammate Kadeen Corbin taking to the court for the visitors at the Ricoh Arena. The game provided the hosts with a ninth successive victory.

Round 9 – benecosMavericks 57-41 Team Bath Netball

benecosMavericks opened up a six-goal lead after the opening quarter and never looked back with some sharp shooting seeing them extend their advantage going into half-time. Five-time champions Team Bath struggled to keep possession and turnover ball, while benecosMavericks kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Round 10 – Team Bath Netball 66-39 Celtic Dragons

A first-half masterclass by Team Bath secured the points for the hosts. Dragons rallied in the third quarter and outscored their hosts 17-10 to cut Team Bath’s lead but the Welsh club were unable to complete a comeback.

Round 11 – Team Bath Netball 51-35 Severn Stars

Team Bath Netball produced what Player of the Match Layla Guscoth described as a “championship quarter” to set up an ultimately convincing victory in the West Country derby. Just three goals separated the two sides at half-time but Team Bath turned up the heat in a dominant third quarter as they stretched their advantage to 40-29 to effectively settle the game as a contest.

Round 12 – Surrey Storm 51-56 Team Bath Netball

Outstanding shooting backed up by inspired defending helped Team Bath Netball come through a tough challenge at Surrey Storm. Blue and Gold Head Coach Anna Stembridge said: “Storm have been picking up form and played superbly, so to see the way we took on that challenge and thrived on it was very pleasing.”

Round 13 – Team Bath Netball 54-42 Team Northumbria

Team Bath dominated all areas of the court as they stormed into a 20-7 lead but a second-quarter slump in form allowed a resurgent Northumbria side back into the contest and close the half-time deficit to just five goals. The Blue and Gold regained their attacking sharpness and were able to thwart Northumbria’s comeback hopes.

Round 14 – UWS Sirens 51-43 Team Bath Netball

UWS Sirens pleased their home crowd with an overdue and well-earned win at the Emirates Arena in their first game of the double-header weekend. The Scottish side dictated play, forcing the visitors into pressured passes. They also capitalised on fast-paced possession as they raced through the court to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Round 15 – Team Bath 54-45 benecosMavericks

Team Bath reinvigorated their challenge for a semi-final spot. They looked to have the points safely in the bag as they took an eight-goal lead into the final quarter but Mavericks, spearheaded by a 100 per cent shooting rate from Karyn Bailey, refused to accept defeat and cut the gap to two with six minutes still to go. Team Bath dug deep though to record a vital victory. 

Round 16 – Team Bath Netball 42-43 Loughborough Lightning

A sensational final-quarter fightback was not quite enough to salvage a result for Team Bath Netball as Loughborough Lightning held on for a single-goal victory. The hosts found themselves trailing 37-27 at the end of a third period but refused to accept defeat. Layla Guscoth forced a turnover to give the hosts a chance to level with just three seconds remaining but the shot hit the ring.

Round 17 – Team Bath Netball 40-58 Wasps Netball

A professional performance from visitors Wasps in front of more than 1300 spectators at the Team Bath Arena saw them emerge victorious from a feisty contest. Wasps advantage overall came from some intense play around the circle feeding into the metronomic shooting of Rachel Dunn. 

Round 18 – Manchester Thunder 54-47 Team Bath Netball

Manchester Thunder ground out an important win over Team Bath at a colourful Thunderdome. It was a game that had a bit of every shade, from red-hot swift attacking play to resolute defensive work and purple patches for both teams. Bath gave as good as they got, continuously coming back every time Thunder threatened to extend their lead. 

Semi-Final – Wasps Netball 54-39 Team Bath Netball

Team Bath made a flying start but defending champions Wasps fought back strongly. The visitors were forced into a series of errors and found themselves 29-13 down at half-time, with the match effectively over as a contest. The Blue and Gold refused to let their heads drop, though, and won the second half 26-25 to provide a battling finish to their season.

Squad

Imogen Allison, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Kadeen Corbin, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Asha Francis, Layla Guscoth, Chelsea Lewis, Tash Pavelin, Paige Reed, Mia Ritchie, Abi Robson, Jazz Scott, Jess Shaw, Rachel Shaw, Zanele Vimbela.

British Fast5 All-Stars Championship

Team Bath will be out for revenge and another crack at getting their hands on the trophy in the 2018 edition of the British Fast5 All-Stars Championship.

The Blue and Gold were pipped to the title by a last-gasp Renske Stoltz long bomb in 2017.

Last year’s runners-up will be back to show their mettle in the short form of the game with seven other Vitality Netball Superleague teams on Saturday 13th October from 1-6pm.

Get your tickets to support Team Bath as they hit the court at the Copper Box Arena!