16th Sep, 2019

Wasps pull the plug on Team Bath to stay within reach of Manchester Thunder

Ben Tyler 8th Apr, 2019

WASPS Netball kept the pressure on at the top after beating Vitality Superleague challengers Team Bath 61-46 at the Ricoh Arena.

Victory keeps Wasps in second, three points behind Manchester Thunder, but more importantly six clear of fifth place with five games remaining of the regular season.

In a game in which Mel Mansfield’s side were the dominant force from the start, the Wasps head coach could not have been left more delighted by the manner of victory.

“That was potentially our best performance over the full 60 minutes tonight against really strong opposition,” she said.

“We stuck to the gameplan and trusted it throughout, winning every single quarter which I’m really happy with.

“I’m so pleased with the defence, they worked so hard to limit Bath all over the court and that made a real difference.

Mansfield believes the win has lifted the spirits of her side even more, and views the win against a tough opponent as a statement to the rest of the league.

The hosts set out of the traps with Jade Clarke playing a pivotal role in controlling the play from mid-court, sending Katie Harris through on numerous occasions to score.

Rachel Dunn also chipped in with accurate finishing in the shooting circle as Team Bath struggled to keep grips on Wasps’ influential players.

Serena Guthrie was limited to being a mere bystander by the Black and Golds, summed up by a perfectly-timed interception from Amy Flanagan to deny her a goal scoring chance.

Pressure continued to surmount in the second-quarter as Bath made a tactical change to try and put a stop to the flowing attacks that Wasps were enjoying.

Wasps achieved a double-figures lead, although that was quickly reduced by two quickfire goals by the visitors.

Dunn ensured her side held an 11-goal lead after the buzzer sounded, and despite Bath starting the second-half strongly, Fran Williams made a vital interception to halt their momentum.

The lead was stretched to 14 heading into the final quarter, where the introductions of Josie Huckle and Tamsin Moala helped Wasps see out victory and a vital three points.

Mansfield’s side next head to Saracens Mavericks on Monday April 15 (7pm) in round 14 of the regular season, a match which is very much a six-pointer, with Mavericks hopes of finishing in the top four on the line.

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