Team Bath beat Manchester Thunder in Vitality Superleague
Last Updated: 02/03/19 2:00pm
Team Bath produced a superb display to return to winning ways and inflict a second defeat of the season on Manchester Thunder on Friday night.
Bath had suffered defeats to Mavericks and Wasps in their last two matches to drop out of the top four but they were back to their best to edge out third-placed Thunder with a 60-56 victory to take maximum points.
The win takes Bath back into the play-off places with Loughborough in action on Saturday, while third-placed Thunder must regroup quickly with the rearranged game against leaders Wasps scheduled for Wednesday.
"We knew it was going to be a great game and I think it was a real spectacle," said Bath head coach Anna Stembridge.
"It was a real hard-working performance and I am so proud of the players - in terms of their job description, I think every one of them delivered."
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Not a great away day for us, we didn’t start with the intensity and purpose we needed and found ourselves chasing a strong Bath Team, wastefulness killed us at crucial times. There was however some positives to take that we will build on as we head into our next game against Wasps on Wednesday. #netball #superleague #manchester 🖤💛🐝
The Superleague round got off to a thrilling start with little to choose between the teams throughout a fiercely-contested match that saw Team Bath edge in front early and move into a five-goal lead at the end of the first 15 minutes thanks to some impressive defensive work from Imogen Allison and Eboni Usoro-Brown.
Joyce Mvula has been in fine form for Thunder and she continued that by leading a charge that drew Thunder back within one goal midway through the second quarter.
Mia Ritchie forced a couple of crucial intercepts that saw Bath finishes the quarter stronger and eventually the home side took a four-goal lead into half-time.
The drama continued into the second half-time, the team trading goals before Thunder once again put on a burst to close the cap, but just as they got within striking distance Bath regrouped and Kim Commane landed a crucial goal on the buzzer that re-established a 49-44 lead.
Thunder scored a spectacular 25 goals in the final quarter of their victory over Celtic Dragons on Monday and while they looked to get back into the contest it was a more stubborn defence that was able to keep them at arm's length.
Again the visitors drew to within touching distance but with the deficit at three goals with three minutes to play, Summer Artman produced a couple of crucial interceptions that the attacking third were able to capitalise on to finally seal the win.
Superleague is back on your Sky Sports screen on Monday, March 4 when Severn Stars host Saracens Mavericks in the final game of Round Eight - join us on Sky Sports Mix & Action from 6.45pm