Posted 28th Feb 2024

Team Bath Netball excited to kick off home run with Friday night derby against Severn Stars as they look to learn Lightning lessons

Team Bath Netball start their 2024 Super League home campaign in front of the BBC Sport cameras this Friday with Head Coach Asha Francis looking for a response from her players to last weekend’s tough defeat at Loughborough Lightning.

Local rivals Severn Stars provide the opposition in the first of three successive home fixtures for the Blue & Gold, who also entertain London Pulse on Friday 8th March and Saracens Mavericks on Friday 15th March (all 7.30pm centre-pass, click here to buy tickets).

Team Bath made an encouraging start to the season with a 53-49 victory over Strathclyde Sirens but slipped to an 83-46 defeat against reigning champions Lightning on Saturday, with the damage being done in the second and third quarters.

There were just six goals in it after the first quarter, though, and Team Bath only lost the last period by one, so Francis is keen for her players to build on those positive moments while also learning from the experience.

“That’s the challenge for this week – go out, learn from it, fix what needs to be fixed and celebrate what we were good at,” she said.

Team Bath Netball's Sloan Burton comes under defensive pressure in their Netball Super League defeat at Loughborough Lightning in February 2024
Team Bath Netball’s Sloan Burton comes under defensive pressure against Loughborough Lightning. PICTURES: Tara St Clair.

“Lightning are a Championship side packed with internationals but the first and last quarters showed our competitive ability. We were just a little naïve at times in the middle of the game and lost our composure when we came under pressure.

“A huge positive was we didn’t see the team self-combust, there was no putting blame on each other, but we needed to see more fight and determination to not let the game get away from us.

“The big focus now is around how we keep connected in those tough moments. It’s not technical, our players have the ability, it’s about keeping composure under pressure and how we accelerate that learning.

“We also need to celebrate and acknowledge when we do things well. We got so many turnovers against Lightning and played some exceptional netball, even in the uglier moments, but we didn’t recognise that. The more the players can take from that in the moment, the more it will lift them.”

Worcester-based Stars head to the Team Bath Sports Training Village off the back of two wins and Francis said: “They have started the season strongly but I think it will be a really competitive match. I have my own set of expectations for each game, regardless of the result, and we really excelled with those in the Season Opener but didn’t against Lightning so it will be a case of refocussing and letting the outcome take care of itself.

“It will be nice to have a good run of matches at home – an opportunity to see the fans, work on things in training and hopefully build some momentum.”

More than 1,400 tickets have been sold for the Stars game, which is being shown live on BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer, but there are still some available – click here to purchase. The ticket also provides admission to the U21 NPL curtain-raiser between Team Bath and Stars at 4.30pm.

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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