Team Bath survived a late Loughborough rally to record their first home win of the 2015 Superleague Netball season. The hosts found themselves behind early on but took control during the middle two quarters to take a six point lead into the final 15 minutes before eventually prevailing 45-43.
The two sides traded goals early on with Loughborough holding a slender 5-4 lead after the opening exchanges. However, the away side then started to exert some dominance with goal shooter Peace Proscovia extending their lead to 8-5 and then 13-8 at the end of the first quarter. There were no changes at the first interval, but the break and team talk appeared to inspire Bath who came out in more aggressive fashion at the start of the second quarter. Goal defence Sam Cook was breaking down Loughborough attacks, and Goal Shooter Rosie Allison was on fine form as Bath quickly reduced the deficit to 19-20. In a disjointed quarter featuring stoppages for injuries to both Cook and Loughborough captain Rachel Henry, Bath then took the lead when Player of the Match Stacey Jayne Francis intercepted a Loughborough pass and captain Asha Francis finished off the Bath move. Allison then extended the home side’s lead to leave the half time score at 23-21 to Bath.
The start of the third quarter saw both sides matching each other score for score with the game moving to 32-30. At this point, Bath seized the initiative, extending their lead to 34-30, before another Cook interception saw the Blue and Golds move 36-31 ahead. Bath’s fluid attacking movement was causing many problems for the visiting defence, and Allison produced another score to leave the home side with a comfortable 37-31 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
However, with Bath having not won a game on home soil yet this season, nerves started to creep into their play in the final quarter with Loughborough reducing the deficit to 38-34. Another Lightning turnover brought them within 2 points at 41-39 but they couldn’t take full advantage of Bath mistakes with the end of the match turning into a scrappy encounter with both teams surrendering possession on numerous occasion, leaving Bath to hang on for a win 45-43.
The result sees Bath remain 5th in the Superleague table, closing the gap on the top four to just three points ahead of both Hertfordshire Mavericks and Yorkshire Jets playing tomorrow. The win also moves Bath 3 points clear of Loughborough in 6th.at the halfway point of the season.