Mike Greenwood Trophy win caps
Director of Netball Jess Thirlby says she “could not be prouder” after seeing Team Bath Netball complete a productive pre-season friendly programme by winning the Mike Greenwood Trophy in Manchester.
The Blue and Gold – backed by Carter Jonas – recorded an excellent 19-14 victory over Manchester Thunder in the final to avenge a narrow 19-17 defeat to the hosts in the round-robin stages.
They also beat Team Northumbria 13-8, Loughborough Lightning 14-8, Celtic Dragons 14-7 and Yorkshire Jets 19-12 during Saturday’s tournament, which saw each game consist of two ten-minute halves.
And with every member of the travelling squad again making notable contributions, Thirlby and Head Coach Anna Stembridge have some tough decisions to make before naming their final squad of 15 for the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague season later this week.
“Anna and I couldn't have been prouder of the players and staff – professional in every way and relentless in pursuit of not just winning but in performing as a team and getting the best our of each other,” said Thirlby.
“It bodes very well for the season ahead. We’re under no illusion that we face tougher tests once the end of January arrives but it is very positive to have played all the franchises and secured wins, helping to build confidence within our team.
“Saturday’s tournament was very valuable to have been a part of on many levels. We took a 15-strong squad to Manchester with the aim of developing further team cohesion and applying what we had been working on in training against other top-quality opposition.
“All the players took to the court and selecting for every game was a challenge for Anna and I. With the naming of the 15 for the 2016 season imminent, the pressure was on us all but we wouldn't have it any other way.
“We were most pleased with the way we turned our round-robin loss to Thunder into a win in the final. With such a short turnaround between the games, it showed that our team can reflect constructively on their performance and make impact quickly.
“Anna and I were also pleased to see us earn the victories in different ways – coming from behind, maintaining a lead and building winning margins across the games.
“All in all, it was a very good day at the office that gives us continued momentum and makes us excited for the final few months of preparation.”
Team Bath begin their 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign against defending champions Surrey Storm on Saturday, January 30 (8pm).
That match is taking place at the Genting Arena in Birmingham as part of a Super Saturday season opener that sees all eight franchises in action on one day.
Tickets are on sale for that match, as well as Team Bath Netball’s home fixtures at the University of Bath Sports Training Village. Season tickets are also available, priced £50 for adults and £35 concessions.