Another epic battle expected

11th May 2010

TeamBath must overcome Hertfordshire Mavericks in Saturday’s (15 May) Co-operative Superleague grand final to secure a historic fourth Superleague crown.
Saturday’s final is being televised live on Sky Sports 4 and features the only two teams to have won the Superleague, with TeamBath collecting the titles in 2006, 2007 and 2009, and Mavericks winning in 2008.
TeamBath head coach Jess Garland is predicting another epic battle between the two teams, who have already fought out three Superleague finals. TeamBath beat Mavericks in the final each time they have won the Superleague - by a winning margin of eight goals on each occasion.
“It’s a final, so both teams are really going to be up for it,” said Garland. “We’ve beaten them every time we’ve played them in the final, so we know they won’t be short of motivation. 
“We know it will be a tough game and that the ultimate questions will be asked of our team on Saturday,” she added. “We started well in our play-off against Surrey and we’ll work hard to produce another strong start against Mavericks, but we know we can expect a harder battle from them early in the game. We also know we need to make sure we deliver over all four quarters.”
The two teams have already met twice this season, with TeamBath beating their host 43-40 in Hertfordshire in January and Mavericks winning 44-34 when they met at the University of Bath Sports Training Village in March.
“It’s a real opportunity to right the wrongs when we played them in Bath. The players feel as though they have some unfinished business, as though they didn’t really do themselves justice on the night.
“We know we weren’t at our best then and we’ll be better than that on Saturday,” added Garland. “The two teams have a similar balance of international youth and experience, so it has to be billed as quite an even contest.”
Mavericks can boast experienced internationals like Amanda Newton in defence and Karen Atkinson in midcourt, as well as a strong shooting partnership in Louisa Brownfield and Ella Clark. They also have former TeamBath players Camilla Buchanan, Rose Morgan-Smith and Monique Wood in their ranks, as well as former TeamBath Netball Talent League player Denika Campbell-Lee.
TeamBath meanwhile have a squad that includes senior England internationals Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Jo Binns, Pamela Cookey, Sasha Corbin, Stacey Francis and Serena Guthrie, with young players like Rosie Allison also impressing this season.
“We had a lot of changes ahead of the season, so it‘s a significant achievement for us to make the final,” said Garland. “Some people under-estimated the talent and determination of this group of players at the start of the season. They have progressed as a team and earned their place in the final.”
Although Saturday’s game is being televised live on Sky Sports 4, Garland is hoping for a big travelling army of fans at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham.
“It’s great for netball that the final is being shown live on Sky Sports, but there’s no replacement for having supporters there. We’d like to thank everyone who have followed us this season and I hope we have lots of support there.”
TeamBath booked their place in the final by beating Surrey Storm 57-42 in the play-offs, while Mavericks beat Northern Thunder and then Surrey Storm in the play-offs last Friday.
Saturday’s grand final takes place at Nottingham’s Trent FM Arena, starting at 4.50pm. Doors to the venue open at 3.30pm. To book your tickets please contact the 24-hour ticket hotline on 08444 124 624