Posted 26th Feb 2014

‘We’ll treat it like a final’ says head coach Thirlby

Team Bath take on Celtic Dragons in a mouth-watering re-run of last season’s ZEO Superleague final at the University of Bath Sports Training Village on Friday (28 February).

The contest, which is being televised live on Sky Sports, is the first time the two sides have met since that final – a game that Team Bath won 62-56 to capture a historic fifth Superleague crown.

Team Bath lost their last home game to Manchester Thunder three weeks ago but go into the Celtic clash off the back of a run of three away games without defeat, including a 57-40 win at Yorkshire Jets on Friday.

That game saw 19-year-old University of Bath Sport and Social Sciences student Sophie Masterson make her Superleague debut in defence alongside the experienced Billy Pritchard.

Head coach Jess Thirlby welcomes back Kiwi Jenna Murie as an additional defensive resource against her former club, Celtic Dragons, who were the only team to beat Team Bath at the Sports Training Village in last season’s Superleague.

“It should be a good game,” said Thirlby. “We need to treat it like last year’s final and they will try to take confidence from their narrow defeat against Manchester Thunder last week.

“They haven’t had as good a start to the season as they would have wanted, but we know they will be difficult to play against and we won’t make any assumptions.

“We can take some real confidence from our performance against Yorkshire Jets on Friday,” she added. “It was good team performance, everyone pulled together to get a good win.

“We also owe our home fans a good performance after we didn’t win against Thunder,” she said.

Team Bath go into the game in third place in the Superleague table with three wins, a draw and a defeat from five games. Celtic Dragons are sixth with one win to their credit.

“We now need to try to consolidate our place in the top-four and try to push for a top-two finish so we would get a home semi-final at the end of the season,” said Thirlby.

The pre-match entertainment ahead of Friday’s game gets underway at 6.45pm.  For ticket details go to https://www.teambath.com/events/ticketline/

Carter Jonas are Team Bath Netball’s property partner. Surridge are the team’s kit supplier. Skins provide the team with compression wear.

For further information members of the media can contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Limited on 01225 383518 or press@matchtight.co.uk

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