NSL R3: Dragons 54 Bath 45
Celtic Dragons take the win against Team Bath for the first time since 2014.
Bath start the match with the first centre pass, but Celtic Dragons get the ball through the net first after a missed shot from Team Bath. The momentum swings back and forth from Celtic Dragons to Team Bath and back for the first five minutes of the match as both teams settle into the match. With both teams fighting for their first win of the season, it’s all to play for. Dragons show their patience in working the ball to the circles edge with Chelsea Beard holding strong for a feed in. Phillipa Yarranton replaces Gabby Sinclair half way through the quarter and is straight into the action with a great drive into the circle and shot to finish. The momentum changes in Dragons’ favour and they manage to take an 18 – 10 lead going into the second quarter.
Q1: Celtic Dragons 18-10 Team Bath
Shaquanda Greene-Noel starts the second quarter off with two big intercepts to keep Dragons ahead half way through the second quarter. With Team Bath drawing nearer to Celtic Dragons, Shaquanda is up to the challenge and again gets an intercept, followed by a dance to get the sold out crowd at House of Sport back into the game. Bath draw the score back closer to 25 – 24, and Celtic Dragons opt to make changes. Hannah Leighton comes on to court for Clare Jones in the centre position and Laura Rudland takes the goal attack position from Phillipa Yarranton. With a minute remaining, the momentum shifts Bath’s way as they level and then go one goal clear as they enter the third quarter.
Q2: Celtic Dragons 27-18 Team Bath
Ella Powell Davies starts the quarter off showing her strength as she snatches the ball and manages to stay on onside. The ball goes back into Bath’s possession, but Shaquanda picks up another big intercept and this time Dragons convert it to a goal. Celtic Dragons get an early lead in the third quarter, and both teams start to find their shooters with ease. With Dragons starting to get more of a lead, Team Bath make a substitution and Bethan Dyke comes on to court as wing attack to replace Kirsty Harris. Hannah Leighton shows her connection with teammate Chelsea Beard with a great passage of play which helps to drag the score out even more with Celtic Dragons leading by four goals with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. With the final minutes ticking down in the third quarter, Shaquanda picks up a caution for persistent obstruction, but it doesn’t stop her getting tips and intercepts.
Q3: Celtic Dragons 42 – 38 Team Bath
Shaquanda Greene-Noel opens the quarter with a defensive rebound and ignites the squad and the crowd once again The pressure from Celtic Dragons forces Team Bath to throw the ball over the back line and Shaquanda Greene-Noel shows her passion with an emphatic cheer! With less than ten minutes to go, Dragons lead by five goals. Sophie Kelly is replaced by Kadeen Corbin at goal attack to see if they can reduce the score-line. Annabel Roddy and Shaquanda Greene-Noel work together to turn the ball, and they get the call from the umpire which gifts them possession. They celebrate with a chest bump which gets the crowd cheering once again. Hannah Passmore takes to court for Team Bath at goal shooter to replace Betsy Creak. Within the space of a minute, Ella Powell-Davies from Celtic Dragons and Jayda Pechova from Team Bath both receive a caution from the umpires. With two minutes remaining, the atmosphere from the crowd builds as Dragons lead by 7 goals. Within the final minute, Jayda Pechova’s caution is elevated to a warning for persistent contact, and Ella Powell-Davies picks up another caution for intentional contact. The final whistle blows and Celtic Dragons claim their first win in 2023, and first win against Team Bath since April 2014.
Q4: Celtic Dragons 54 – 45 Team Bath
At the end of the game, Netball Super League and Gilbert’s Player of the Match Chelsea Beard said “All the hard work paid off. We said from the start Bath would come back, and they did. To grind out the win, and to push on is very important to us, we just need to push on for the rest of the season now. The belief the girls will take from this game knowing we can compete at this level, knowing we can win in this league is huge, and we can push on ready for Friday”.
Dannii Titmuss-Morris, Celtic Dragons Head Coach said “Credit to the girls out there on court today. We weren’t expecting Gabby to come off, and for the team to adjust in the way they did it, I’m just so proud of them. It’s amazing to get the win in front of a sold out crowd too, I’m just really pleased.”
Asher Francis, Team Bath’s Head Coach about the match said “I definitely saw progress out there. The out-work rate from our attack tonight shifted a whole other level from last match. To get the win, we just need to be in the game and work throughout the whole 60 minutes.”
Next up for Celtic Dragons is another home, this time against Severn Stars. You can buy tickets to see this match here – https://ethicalticketing.org/celtic-dragons/event/880318152
GS- Chelsea Beard
GA- Gabby Sinclair
WA- Shona O’Dwyer
C- Clare Jones
WD- Ella Powell-Davies
GD- Annabel Roddy
GK- Shaquanda Greene-Noel
GS- Betsy Creak
GA- Sophie Kelly
WA- Kirsty Harris
C- Ali Wilshire
WD- Imogen Allison
GD- Lily-May Catling
GK- Jayda Pechova
Player of the Match – Chelsea Beard
Match Report/Img: Celtic Dragons