26 May 2013
TeamBath cinched the trophy in the final three minutes of Superleague 2013 action, to be crowned five times NSL Champions, leaving a disappointed but incredibly proud Celtic Dragons with the silver medal.
The game ran out 62 – 56 to Bath, and was an exhilarating hour of fast paced rough and tumble between a largely England outfit versus a largely Welsh side.
Dragons dominated in the shooting stakes, netting 90% compared with Bath’s 78% but the mid court pressure from both teams coupled with some fast paced hunger from Bath meant the momentum swung to Bath in the ending moments.
Despite solo dancing from Bath’s Kadeen Corbin before the game, nerves were evident in the first quarter, as both sides panicked in the heat.
A couple of low feeds to Lottysha Cato came within a comfortable reaching distance for Sam Cook, and Bath squeezed in front at the first break 16 – 15.
Bath Coach Jess Thirlby swapped Serena Guthrie and Mia Ritchie in the mid court, but Melissa Hyndman made no changes, allowing Dragons to sync and win the second period.
The ‘green army’ were vocal from the moment they arrived in Worcester, and despite the Welsh supporters being smaller than the Bath supporters, they made up for their size in noise and passion each time Dragons scored or turned over the ball.
The third quarter was even faster and tighter and louder as the lead swapped hands many times. Stacey Francis read a long pass to Kyra Jones a mile off and hunted down the ball in her usual athletic bound.
Kadeen Corbin’s circle movement was particularly good, but with Sara Hale and Steph Williams possessive on rebounds, they kept Bath to a lead of just two going into the final break.
The green army were roaring and with just four minutes left on the clock Bath lead by one goal. Bath then entered a momentous phase in the crucial ending minutes, in which a succession of goals sealed the victory.
Melissa Hyndman was full of praise for her side despite the result.
“Words cannot describe how proud I am, how honoured. They’ve done everything I asked of them today and I kissed them all.
“It was a great spectators game. It was a very very hard fought match. No-one knew who was going to win, and I think it turned in the last three minutes of the game.”
Hyndman expressed some concern regarding rough play, which knocked her star shooter Lottysha Cato to the deck.
“Timmy got absolutely floored and when I mean floored, it would be close to what you’d call a KO in boxing. And then it was called against her.”
Praise for the green army was in abundance in the Celtic Dragons camp.
“I want to see more of them" said Hyndman.
"I’m so proud of the crowd as well, there was only a third of us in the crowd today and boy, TeamBath were everywhere but you didn’t know who they were but you knew who our supporters were.
“They were so outstanding with their uniforms, with their sounds, and the girls loved it.” Captain Suzy Drane echoed the Coache’s words, saying “We’re really proud that we got here, We’ve come from being ninth, eighth, seventh, fifth.
"We were targeting a top four place, so let’s not forget the top four place that we achieved last week. A grand final spot we only dreamt of.
"Our supporters have been second to none, they’ve been so loyal to us this year and we undoubtedly wouldn’t have got this far without their support."
Celtic Dragons: GS Lottysha Cato GA Cara Moseley WA Suzy Drane C Kyra Jones WD Nic James GD Stephanie Williams GK Sara Hale
TeamBath: GS Kadeen Corbin GA Pamela Cookey WA Asha Francis C Mia Ritchie WD Serena Guthrie GD Stacey Francis GK Sam Cook
Q1: CD 15, TB 16
Q2: CD 31, TB 30
Q3: CD 44, TB 46
Q4: CD 56, TB 62
Q1: CD 15, TB 16
Q2: CD 16, TB 14
Q3: CD 13, TB 16
Q4: CD 12, TB 16
TB Guthrie – C, Ritchie – WD
T/O @ 1.19 on clock: TB Cookey – GS, Corbin – GA
Q1 Cato: 13/14 93%
Q1 Moseley: 2/2 100%
Q1 Total: 15/16 94%
Q2 Cato: 16/17 94%
Q2 Moseley: 0/2 0%
Q2 Total 16/19 84%
Q3 Cato: 13/15 87%
Q3 Moseley: 0/0 0%
Q3 Total: 13/15 87%
Q4 Cato: 12/12 100%
Q4 Moseley: 0/0 0%
Q4 Total 12/12 100%
Cato: 54/58 93%
Moseley: 2/4 50%
Total: 56/62 90%
Q1 Corbin: 8/13 62%
Q1 Cookey: 8/11 73%
Q1 Total: 16/24 67%
Q2 Corbin: 6/9 67%
Q2 Cookey: 7/7 100%
Q2 Total: 13/16 82%
Q3 Corbin: 6/9 67%
Q3 Cookey: 10/10 100%
Q3 Total: 16/19 84%
Q4 Corbin: 11/12 92%
Q4 Cookey: 5/7 71%
Q4 Total: 16/19 84%
Corbin 32/44 73%
Cookey: 30/35 86%
Total: 62/79 78%