Thirlby expecting tough Thunder challenge

4th February 2014

Team Bath head coach Jess Thirlby predicts Manchester Thunder will come out fighting when the two teams meet in round two of the ZEO Superleague at the University of Bath on Friday (7 February).
 
Team Bath started their campaign with a 59-45 win over Team Northumbria last week, while Thunder went down 55-48 at home to Surrey Storm.
 
Friday’s contest, which is being shown live on Sky Sports, brings together two of the three teams to have won the Superleague to date.
 
Thirlby said: “They will be disappointed to have lost their first game at home on Monday and they’ll be desperate not to lose their opening two.
 
“We always know we’ve got a challenge on our hands when we play Thunder, they’re always really competitive games,” she added. “They’ve got a lot of strength throughout the team and options in the shooting circle. We’ll need to deprive them of opportunities at goal and make them really work.”
 
Thunder are captained by Sara Bayman  - a former Team Bath player and University of Bath Sport and Exercise Science graduate – one of six Thunder players on international duty with England A last month.
 
Thirlby gave court time to nine of her matchday 12 against Team Northumbria, including a Superleague debut for 16-year-old Summer Artman.
 
“It was good to get Summer out there and give her the experience of playing in front of more than 1000 people at the Sports Training Village,” said Thirlby.
 
“Most probably we played half of the game where we wanted to be at this stage in the season - we had a lot of turnover ball that we didn’t convert, so we still have work to do,” said Thirlby.
 
Team Bath are the most successful team in Superleague history, winning the title in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2013.  Thunder won the title in 2012.
 
Carter Jonas are Team Bath Netball’s property partner. Surridge are the official kit supplier, Skins provide the team with compression wear and Scheckters’ Organics supply Organic Energy Drinks to Team Bath.