Blue & Gold’s U19s and U21s show spirit and skill to secure victories over Surrey Storm in NPL double header
Team Bath Netball’s U21s and U19s both recorded their first wins of the 2019-20 NPL season on Saturday as they came through tough tests against Surrey Storm in a home double header.
The U21s went into their match in a focused, confident and motivated mood following a strong training week.
The game was closely contested throughout but players’ player Elisha New was dominating on attack, showing her experience and connecting well with WA Beth Johnson, GA Georgia Jenkins and captain Hannah Passmore, who was a strong presence from the off.
Despite trailing by two at half-time, the group were determined to push on and started the third quarter strongly. Ceri Evans was having another strong game at WD, creating turnover opportunity for her team-mates and herself, and while coaches’ player of the match Passmore was finishing with confidence as Team Bath finished the quarter with a seven-goal lead.
Quarter four continued in the same vein and, despite Storm going on a mini run of goals as fatigue set into a home line-up which had been largely unchanged throughout, the Blue & Gold were able to see out a 49-46 victory.
Head Coach Nikki Lloyd said: “I am extremely proud of our grit, determination and clever play, particularly in the final minutes to secure a well deserved first win of the season.”
Co-captain Passmore added: “It was a really exciting and needed win for us and I am extremely proud of the connections that are forming, the determination showed by the team and the 100 per cent effort given by everyone for a full 60 minutes.
“The game enabled us to take away many positives as well as highlight areas to improve on, which we will address ahead of our last few games to ensure we are successful again.”
The U21 victory came on the back on an impressive 53-47 win for Team Bath’s U19s against Storm earlier in the day.
Despite a strong start that saw them lead 4-0 after the opening five minutes, Team Bath found themselves 16-12 down at the end of the first quarter but began to secure plenty of turnover ball right across court.
GK Molly Hole was the standout player in defence, while attackers Rosie Bartlett, Megan Conabeare and Lily Jones capitalised on accurate feeds from Millie Pearce as Team Bath closed the gap to 28-26 at half-time before forging into the lead.
The game went goal for goal during the rest of the third period and the sides were locked at 40-40 before Team Bath – coached by Lois Rideout and Natalie Roddy – produced a strong final quarter to secure the points.
Next up for both the U19s and U21s is a short journey to Gloucester on Saturday, February 15 for derby matches against Severn Stars (1.30pm and 4pm respectively).