Posted 19th Feb 2024

Confident start to 2024 Super League campaign as Team Bath hold off Strathclyde Sirens surge to record Season Opener success

Team Bath Netball produced a performance of “pure grit and determination” as they saw off a fierce fightback from Strathclyde Sirens to make a winning start to the 2024 Super League season.

The Blue & Gold, inspired by a superb display from goal attack Sophie Kelly, led by four at half-time of Saturday’s Season Opener in Nottingham before their Scottish opponents rallied to take a 40-39 lead into the final 15 minutes.

Tash Pavelin made her comeback from injury during Team Bath Netball's Super League Season Opener win against Strathclyde Sirens, February 2024
Tash Pavelin made an impressive comeback from a long-term injury

Team Bath were not to be denied, though, and an excellent interception from Lisa Putt – one of three Super League debutants, along with Ellie Ervine and Sloan Burton – sparked a decisive run of six successive goals as they went on to record a well-earned 53-49 victory.

Defender Tash Pavelin, who impressed on her first Super League appearance since 2022 following a knee injury, said: “Pure grit and determination was what got us back in front, we’ve practised those moments in training so we knew what we needed to do and that we just needed to focus on ourselves.

Sophie Kelly was Player of the Match in Team Bath Netball's Super League Season Opener win against Strathclyde Sirens, February 2024
Player of the match Sophie Kelly

“I was very nervous before but it felt amazing to be back out there. I have never felt more supported, from both my team and the netball community.”

University of Bath sporting scholar Kelly, who scored 31 goals during a livewire display, added: “It was amazing to get out on court again and get the win, the team came together really well. We went out with confidence and we showed everyone what we can do.”

Ellie Ervine made her Super League debut during Team Bath's 2024 Season Opener victory against Strathclyde Sirens
University of Bath student Ellie Ervine was one of three Super League debutants for Team Bath

Head Coach Asha Francis was delighted with how her players stuck to plan throughout a contest which saw them lead 13-11 at the end of the first quarter and 27-23 at half-time before shaking off Sirens’ revival to take the points.

“I’ve asked the players a lot to stay present and I felt they did that really well today,” she said. “It’s easy when you are winning to think you are comfortable and it’s going great but we knew that Sirens would come out firing every quarter and they would make changes.

“We had to keep present and execute every quarter which we did. The players were fantastic.”

Next up for Team Bath on Saturday 24th February is a visit to Loughborough Lightning, who started their title defence with a 63-50 victory over Surrey Storm. Centre-pass is 6pm and the match will be live-streamed on BBC Sport, as will Team Bath’s first home game of the season against Severn Stars on Friday 1st March (7.30pm centre-pass).

Tickets for all nine Team Bath home games are on sale now at netball.teambath.com/tickets.

Watch the match against Sirens in full here:

Team Bath Netball is supported by Bath Building Society and Rengen Developments, who are both overall Team Bath Partners. Flyhawk supply Team Bath’s performance clothing and off-court apparel.

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