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 Haines Watts alongside Team Bath overall sponsor Rengen – made the short journey to Worcester on Saturday without their England internationals involved in this week’s Vitality Netball Legends Series and the vastly experienced trio of Kim Borger and Rachel Shaw, who were rested as a precaution, and Eboni Usoro-Brown, who is following a post-partum return to play programme.
That meant the average age of the travelling squad was just 21 but the 12 players – a mix of Superleague squad members, training partners and Academy players – all performed well in an entertaining match that saw Team Bath lead in the first three quarters before Stars came through to win 59-53.
“It was a really good run-out and for lots of reasons,” said Team Bath Superleague Head Coach Stembridge. “We were able to get everyone out on court for at least two quarters each against a strong Stars side and the match was closely fought from start to finish.
“We were also able to expose two Academy players to that level of competition and they took it in their stride. Molly Hole, who captained England U17 last season, was up against an experienced Welsh international in Georgia Rowe and Lily Jones only missed one shot against a very good defence – you can’t fault that kind of composure from a shooter of her age.
“It was only our second match against external opposition this pre-season and our first away from home, so it was really pleasing to get that under our belts. A huge thank you to Stars for providing a really safe environment for us to play in.”
A live stream of Saturday’s friendly is available to watch on demand via the Severn Stars YouTube channel, click on the link below: