Netball: Team Bath's Jess Thirlby expecting tough Manchester Thunder challenge

Last Updated: 05/02/14 10:26am

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Team Bath: Looking to retain their ZNSL title

Team Bath: Looking to retain their ZNSL title

Sky Bet

Team Bath head coach Jess Thirlby predicts Manchester Thunder will come out fighting when the two teams meet in round two of the ZEO Superleague live on Sky Sports this Friday.

Team Bath started their campaign with a 59-45 win over Team Northumbria last week, while Thunder went down 55-48 at home to Surrey Storm.

Friday's contest at the University of Bath, brings together two of the three teams to have won the Superleague to date.

And Thirlby, who writes a blog for, said: "They will be disappointed to have lost their first game at home on Monday and they'll be desperate not to lose their opening two.

"We always know we've got a challenge on our hands when we play Thunder, they're always really competitive games," she added.

"They've got a lot of strength throughout the team and options in the shooting circle. We'll need to deprive them of opportunities at goal and make them really work."

Thunder are captained by former Bath player Sara Bayman who is one of six Thunder players on international duty with England A last month under the guidance of Thirlby.

Nine of Bath's matchday 12 got court time against Team Northumbria last week, including a Superleague debut for 16-year-old Summer Artman.

"It was good to get Summer out there and give her the experience of playing in front of more than 1,000 people at the Sports Training Village," said Thirlby.

Watch Team Bath v Manchester Thunder live on Sky Sports 2 Friday 7 February from 7.30pm.

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