Thunder in Fight to Avoid Double Dip against Bath
Here we are at the business end of the ZEO Netball Superleague season and it doesn’t come bigger than a clash between five time champions Team Bath and 2012 winners Manchester Thunder.
Last season saw Bath victorious in a reverse of the fixture, in the picturesque Somerset City. This time it is on Thunder’s stomping ground with a notoriously loud crowd in their corner, and they will want to right the wrongs that caused their defeat to Bath in March in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
In what has probably been the best season in the ZEO Netball Superleague history, both semi-finals have presented mouth-watering offerings for all netball fans. Throwing up a record five draws this season, of which Bath have been involved in three, there’s potential all round for extra time! What a feast of netball with Manchester Thunder v Team Bath at 6pm and Surrey Storm v Hertfordshire Mavericks at 8pm, all LIVE on Sky Sports.
Both teams have had their injury problems throughout the season with Thunder losing experienced defender Sara Hale, while Bath’s Stacey Francis has missed a good part of their season although she should be fit for the semi-final. You could probably take a good guess at both starting line-ups, although many struggle to second guess Thunder Head Coach Tracey Neville. Will she go with height in the shooting circle playing Krista Enziano with Helen Housby, or for the more mobile pairing of Kathryn Turner with Housby at goal shooter? At the back the experienced pairing Kerry Almond and Emma Dovey is the likely choice with Gibson and Webster offering impact from the bench.
Team Bath have consistently gone with England pairing Rosie Allison and Pamela Cookey in their shooting circle, with little option to change. Amanda Trounce has done well for the second half of the season and is likely to make up the centre court with England’s Serena Guthrie and Mia Ritchie. However, in defence will coach Jess Thirlby go with Francis and new signing Sarah Penny or the experience of Billy Pritchard?
This is where form goes out of the window and it is just a question of who wants it most. So make sure you’ve reserved your seat whether it’s at The Thunderdome or in your front room, this is a match not to be missed.
Assistant Coach Karen Greig commented: “We are going into the game with confidence after a good training session yesterday. It is a huge game and Bath will pose lots of questions but with our squad and the different combinations we can put out in all four quarters we have the answer to combat that.”
The match at The Thunderdome is heading for a sell-out with under 100 tickets left, so make sure you booked your discounted tickets on-line now: