Posted 7th Feb 2014

Team Bath struck down by Thunder

Reigning ZEO Superleague champions Team Bath suffered their first defeat of the 2014 season as they went down 54-41 to Manchester Thunder at the University of Bath Sports Training Village tonight (Friday).

Team Bath went behind early in quarter one and despite battling back, they could never quite turn the tables on Thunder in the round two encounter, which was televised live on Sky Sports.

Team Bath head coach Jess Thirlby said: “We made a poor start tonight and it took too long to get everyone on the same page. The positive was the way we came back at them after the timeout in the first quarter.  They were feeling the pressure a bit then and I sensed we were coming back at them.

“But Thunder maintained possession well. You’ve got to be at your best to come back on a team like Thunder once they’ve got a lead, and we definitely weren’t at our best tonight.”

Captain Serena Guthrie added: “We didn’t really come out of the starting blocks until the second half, and then it was a bit inconsistent.

“We got back into the game, but then we made some errors and we couldn’t close the game out.  We need to address those errors individually coming up to the game at Surrey on Monday night. It’s important we start the game better on Monday.”

Team Bath started uncharacteristically slowly as Thunder came out firing on all cylinders and raced away to an 8-1 lead in the first six minutes.

The biggest roars of the opening quarter from another fantastic 1000-plus crowd were reserved for Rosie Allison’s early successes.

Towards the end of quarter one Billy Pritchard and Stacey Francis started making inroads into Thunder’s shooters Krista Enziano and gifted England A player Helen Housby, stemming the flow of goals. But it was still the visitors who went into the first interval with a healthy 15-8 advantage.

Team Bath made a brighter start to the second quarter. They were came quickly out of the starting blocks and started to erode Thunder’s lead. Vice-captain Stacey Francis made some terrifically athletic interceptions as the home side made the visiting shooters work hard for possession.

Rosie Allison and Pamela Cookey gradually started to cut the deficit, reducing it to just a couple of goals at 21-23 with six minutes remaining in the quarter. But after clawing their way back into the game, it was Thunder who ended the quarter the stronger, scoring six times without reply to take go into half-time with a 29-21 lead.

The first half had seen a fierce battle in midcourt, with former Team Bath player Sara Bayman particularly impressive for the visitors. Head coach Thirlby switched Serena Guthrie to centre at the start of quarter three with Mia Ritchie moving to wing defence.

Team Bath played their best netball at the start of that quarter, moving the ball with speed and fluidity.

Once again they reduced the Thunder advantage, this time to just three goals at 33-30. But despite some lovely passing between Yasmin Parson, Mia Ritchie, Pamela Cookey and Serena Guthrie, Team Bath couldn’t overhaul the visitors and it was Thunder who again ended the quarter the stronger of the two, taking a 40-32 lead into the final quarter.

With time ebbing away, Ritchie and Parsons tried to work their magic in quarter four, with some swift passing that Allison accepted gratefully.

And although the crowd did their best to cheer Team Bath on to victory, Enziano and Housby kept up the pressure at the other end, and it was the 2012 champions who went on to secure their first win of the season, beating Team Bath 54-41.

Team Bath return to action on Monday (10 February) with a trip to Surrey Storm. Their next home game is another Sky Sports live televised fixture against Celtic Dragons on Friday 28 February. Ticket information about Team Bath’s home fixtures this season is available at

Carter Jonas are Team Bath Netball’s property partner. Surridge are the official kit supplier, Skins provide the team with compression wear and Scheckters’ Organics supply Organic Energy Drinks to Team Bath.

Quarter scores: Q1: 8-15, Q2: 13-14 (21-29), Q3: 11-11 (32-40), Q4: 9-14 (41-54)

Team Bath starting seven:  GS: Rosie Allison, GA: Pamela Cookey, WA: Yasmin Parsons, C: Mia Ritchie, WD: Serena Guthrie (captain), GD: Stacey Francis (vice-captain), GK: Billy Pritchard
Bench: Summer Artman, Shaunagh Craig, Lauren Dent, Jenna Murie, Jazz Scott.

Changes: Q3: Guthrie to C, Ritchie to WD. Q4: Pritchard to GD, Francis to GK.
Q4 injury time out changes: Craig to GA, Francis to GD, Artman to GK.

Manchester Thunder starting seven:  GS: Krista Enziano,  GA: Helen Housby, WA: Beth Cobden, C: Sara Bayman (captain)  WD: Laura Malcolm, GD:Emma Dovey, GK: Kerry Almond.
Bench: Jodie Gibson, Sara Hale, Rachel Henry, Kathryn Turner, Alice Travis.
Changes: Q4 injury timeout changes: Henry to C.

Shooting stats:
Team Bath
Rosie Allison – 32 from 38 (84 per cent)
Pamela Cookey – 9 from 10 (90 per cent)
Shaunagh Craig – 0 from 1

Manchester Thunder
Krista Enziano – 23 from 33 (70 per cent)
Helen Housby – 31 from 35 (87 per cent)

For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518.

Other news articles

Blue & Gold stars help England Roses secure Jean Hornsby Cup after Vitality Legends Series victory over Superleague All Stars

A quartet of Team Bath Netball players helped the Vitality Roses secure a 3-0 Legends Series victory over the Superleague All Stars and lift the Jean Hornsby Cup, named after the first black England Netball player. Serena Guthrie co-captained...

Read More
Fantastic five Blue & Gold players taking part in Vitality Netball Legends Series between England and Superleague All Stars this week

Five Team Bath Netball players will be involved in an exciting three-match Vitality Netball Legends Series taking place this week between the England Roses and an international Superleague ‘All Stars’ side. Serena Guthrie will co-captain a Roses squad that...

Read More
Academy players make their mark as youthful Blue & Gold squad enjoy highly-competitive final friendly at Severn Stars

Anna Stembridge was pleased to see a youthful Team Bath Netball squad produce a highly-competitive performance against Severn Stars in their final external friendly before the 2021 Vitality Superleague season. The Blue & Gold – sponsored by Principal Partners...

Read More
Team Bath Netball Sponsors
Partners and Suppliers