Win in Wales could prove just the tonic ahead of Loughborough clash
Team Bath, backed by Carter Jonas, will draw confidence from their close encounter – resulting in a win – against Celtic Dragons in North Wales at the weekend as they prepare for their next match against Loughborough Lightning this Friday (March 6th) at the Sports Training Village.
Playing at Deeside Leisure Centre, Team Bath recovered from an early 5-9 deficit to get ahead in the second quarter and emerge ultimate 42-36 winners via a 21-16 half-time lead.
Both teams entered the contest off the back of recent and raw defeats and were in search of an improved performance.
Momentum swung towards Bath with a nine-goal streak in the second quarter but the Dragons, always tricky opponents whom Team Bath beat to win the title in 2013, bit back.
Momentarily in the third quarter, Dragons drew level at 28-28 but Bath responded to go into the final interval with a slender two-goal lead at 30-28 and despite frantic home crowd support the Welsh franchise were kept at bay as Bath moved to extend their lead in the final five minutes.
“It was great to be competing in a game throughout the whole 60mins and finding ourselves responding well under pressure. We were more clinical in possession from our centre passes and we got lots of turn-over but we know we need to capitalize more on that ”, said coach Jess Thirlby after the game.
“When Dragons came back at us it was really positive that those out on court were able to build leads and fight to protect them in those dying minutes”, Thirlby added.
Buoyed by that away win Team Bath now face their University rivals Loughborough Lightning on Friday (6 March) at the Sports Training Village.
Coached by Karen Atkinson and Olivia Murphy, erstwhile England team-mates, Loughborough have some African and Caribbean imports this season and are improving with every game.
Thirlby says her side are relishing the fixture: “We look forward to the challenge and know we are in for a real contest. We will remain focused on the key performance areas of our game. We must remain disciplined to improve and to address the tactical challenges that will need applying to deny this enthusiastic team the possession they have appeared to enjoy so far”.
Team Bath have a trio of home matches still remaining this month on March 6th, 13th and 23rd.
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