Team Bath stars help England net historic series whitewash
Pamela Cookey, Kadeen Corbin, Stacey Francis and Serena Guthrie will make a heroic return to training with Team Bath this week after helping England's netballers to a stunning series whitewash over Australia.
The quartet were part of a triumphant national squad, along with several former Team Bath players, which beat the world champions 3-0 during an unforgettable week for English netball.
Having won 58-53 in the series opener at the University of Bath, England showed real fight to edge to a 51-49 success at Wembley Arena last Wednesday before coming from eight goals down to win 58-51 at Birmingham NIA on Saturday.
The victories were all the more remarkable as, going into the series, England had only previously beaten Australia twice in competitive fixtures.
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“We really had that belief that we could go out and put in performances on the court,” said England captain Cookey, who converted 39 of her 44 shots during the last two matches.
“Three-nil against Australia, the first time ever in English history – I’m so proud to be part of this.”
Talented youngster Corbin – whose sister Sasha also played a key role in England’s success – showed her potential by twice coming off the bench to score important points.
That was certainly the case on Saturday as she was introduced with Australia leading 26-25 and promptly scored 16 times to help take the game away from the visitors.
Francis – who made her first start of the series – was a powerful presence in defence alongside former Team Bath colleague Eboni Beckford-Chambers, whose outstanding form earned her the player of the series award.
“Playing in all three games and beating Australia – the number one team in the world – is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” said Beckford-Chambers, who now plays down under for West Coast Fever.
“It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been training for this for years and years. It’s the best feeling in the world and I’m really proud of the team.”
Also contributing to England’s success was former Monkton Combe pupil Ama Agbeze, Sara Bayman and Serena Guthrie, all of whom started their careers at the University of Bath, while former Team Bath player Anna Mayes was coach.
The focus now turns from the international stage to domestic competition, with Team Bath in training towards their Superleague opener against Celtic Dragons on Thursday, February 7.
Tickets for the home fixture, which starts at 8pm, are available at www.teambath.com/events/ticketline or by calling 0844 888 4412.