Blue and Gold warm up for Bath tournament


Team Bath Netball continued their preparations for the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague season with three encouraging performances at the inaugural Springfree Super Fours tournament.

The round-robin competition was hosted by Surrey Storm and also featured Scottish franchise UWS Sirens and Benecos Mavericks, who took the title after edging out Team Bath 42-39 in the final match of the day thanks to three goals in the last minute.

The Sitec-sponsored Blue and Gold had started the event with an impressive 47-30 victory over Sirens before getting the better of Storm in a ding-dong battle, Chelsea Lewis scoring the decisive goal in a 36-35 success.

Their narrow defeat to Mavericks, who won all of their games, meant Team Bath finished runners-up overall.

Team Bath Netball head coach Jess Thirlby said: “The tournament had everything and proved really valuable, it was a coach’s dream to be exposed to so many different game situations.

“We led from the start against Sirens and were 13-3 up after the first quarter, then we had a hard-fought game against Storm where we came from behind before closing out the win by just one goal.

“The last match against Mavericks was another highly competitive run-out. The teams were level pegging at both half-time and the end of the third quarter, rarely separated by more than one or two goals throughout.

“It’s not easy to achieve those situations in training as authentically as Saturday’s event delivered. More combinations also had longer to consolidate what they had learnt since our outing against Wales and overall Anna (Stembridge) and I were really excited by what we saw.

“Now its back to the training court as we continue to fine-tune ahead of our very own tri-tournament in the New Year.”

That pre-season competition at the Team Bath Arena – taking place on Saturday, January 6 – will see the Blue and Gold take on 2017 Superleague champions Wasps and West Country rivals Severn Stars in one action-packed afternoon.

Doors open at 1.00 pm and the first of the three matches starts at 2.00 pm. Admission is priced £10 for adults, £5 concessions and £20 for a family ticket.

To purchase tickets for the tri-tournament, or any of Team Bath’s nine home Superleague fixtures during 2018, visit: netball.teambath.com; or call: (08448) 884 412.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.