Hucclecote Comets vs Pinehurst Saturday 4th November 2017
Hucclecote were away this week to Pinehurst. After a strong warm up, Hucclecote took to court. The starting line up was Megan GS, Emily GA, Mitzi WA, Darcey C, Georgie WD, Harriet GD and Elaine as captain at GK. Hucclecote were immediately challenged from the offset playing opposition that had great fluency and precision in feeding their shooter.
Hucclecote worked hard to put pressure on the first phase of the defensive centre pass but found it hard to close the first phase defence down through court, allowing Pinehurst to maintain their smoothness of ball transition through court. The goal shooter was very effective in creating good back space and Pinehurst’s momentum kept building through the quarter. Pinehurst were also very strong in defence, restricting our opportunities with Hucclecote forcing a huge amount of poor passes and footwork. Alongside this Pinehurst confined Hucclecote to only putting up 7 attempts, 5 of which were converted.
Hucclecote finished the quarter 15-5 down.
A change in line up saw Tee come on at WD with the aim to restrict the WA to the circle edge to try and force a feed from further out, allowing more time to intercept. Harriet moved to GK and Elaine was tasked to delay the GA’s entry to the D. Hucclecote were determined to close the gap and a momentum shift was needed to disrupt Pinehurst’s play. The defensive changes had an immediate impact with the attacking feed being forced off the goal line multiple times and allowing Hucclecote possession that they hadn’t had in the first quarter. However, the defence were still making life difficult with the attack finding it incredibly difficult to penetrate the ball through court and space being restricted. Hucclecote however, had 11 opportunities at goal, 8 of which were converted, and Pinehurst had two less opportunities than the previous quarter, with their GA missing every attempt from feeling the defensive pressure. Hucclecote had therefore marginally closed the gap, but still had a long way to go with the score 27-14 at half time.
The focus now was to try find some solutions to our attacking difficulties. Georgie came on in the middle to allow Darceysome rest and help to open up some space. Harriet stayed as GK after successful intercepting 2 balls and getting a tip on three more. The third quarter saw Harriet come to life against the shooter, stealing clean possession 4 times. This positive momentum created more opportunities at goal and Georgie and Mitzi combined well with double leads to attack the circle edge. This was helped with Emily holding back and not coming up the court too high. Could Hucclecote use this quarter to get themselves into contention for the last quarter? The girls battled hard against this very physical team where their GS was given a caution for poor etiquette on court. Another tough quarter but again improvements as Hucclecotehad 15 attempts at goal, converting 11 and Pinehurst converting 12/14 due with a help of a new GA. Hucclecotefinished the third quarter 41-26 down, still a considerable gap.
The last quarter saw Tee join Harriet in the circle, Georgie back on as defensive WD and Darcey back to the middle. This quarter started with a turnover in defence and momentum began to build. Hucclecote were still having to work extremely hard to penetrate the ball through attack, but were showing more confidence through court and in the shooting circle with Emily converting 9/9 on the GA. This was by far Hucclecote’s best quarter which shows the determined nature of the players with such a difficult position to be in after the first quarter. Hucclecote restricted Pinehurst to just 11 attempts, the least they had had all match and extended their own opportunities to 17. A fantastic way to finish the match but sadly the poor start meant they were in to weak a position to close the gap, losing the game 52-40.
Had Hucclecote had a better start, this game would have been winnable and in contention the whole way with only a small number of goals between the teams in the remaining three quarters.
Following the match, local spectators chose to come over to comment on how talented the players were and how well they dealt with the physicality of the opposition. They also commented that they noticed the “youngsters” within the squad and thought their Netball futures looked incredibly exciting. This team most certainly did Hucclecote Netball Club proud and although as a squad they agreed the GS was the player that had the most impact, they chose to give oppositions player to a more honourable player that demonstrated good sporting etiquette throughout the match.
Pinehursts player of the match – Mitzi (WA)
Coaches player – Harriet (GK)
Megan: 22/27 = 81%
Emily: 18/28 = 64%