Gladiators Clash in the Netball Arena
Hucclecote Stars 58 Prem Romans 47
The build up to this match had been a bit stressful to say the least with players unavailable, players ill, players stuck in transit, players with no trainers, no coach available then available, all in all we must take our hat off to the cool headed manager Sarah Taylor who pulled this together on the run up to the match and also on the day too !!! What would we do without her eh !!
Prem Romans have always in the past been a very strong Regional side with a lot of passion around netball. Their season this year had not been the best only winning one game out of 7 so far, nevertheless Hucclecote Stars season start had also been a bit up and down so PremRomans fancied their chances of upsetting Stars now we were in winning ways again.
12.15 pm @ Winterbourne Sports Academy Bristol enabled the team plenty of time to get organised and warmed up for a 1.30 centre pass. Unfortunately Brooke Vivian was stuck at Temple Meads train station ! Her mum Lynne was dodging every speed camera through Bristol in a car trying to collect her and get her to the match in time.
Why she was stuck there is a whole different story !.
Izzy’s head wasn’t screwed on right and turned up with a worn out pair of trainers and had forgotten her playing ones, so Jac lent her a brand new pair which she hadn’t even played in yet !!
Last of the pre match dilemmas was captain Helen Hynes although fighting hard against a flu like illness after trying to do the warm up with the team had to bow down sensibly not being fit enough to play handing over the captains hat to Bryony Smith. Helen was to sit on the bench frustrated but supporting the whole team.
So starting 7 with still no sign of Brooke were Beth Gabriel GS, Jane Taylor GA, Becky Lewis WA, Felicity Elvidge C, Bryony Smith WD (capt), Issabella Robinson GD, Katie Cruickshank GK. The reserve bench had a lonely Helen all wrapped up and still no sign of Brooke !! Somebody also sat on the bench was one of last years great defence players for Hucclecote Stars Laura Stubbings who had come along to support her old team and she certainly made herself heard when shouting advise !
1st quarter saw a very fast pace game take shape with Prem Romans throwing every thing at Stars. Hucclecotesoaked up all the pressure keeping cool heads and just concentrating on the game.
The usual mistakes were being made whilst finding out how the opposition were going to play and how the umpires were going to run the game.
With Helen on the bench it was up to Becky Lewis to try and fill her shoes at WA a tough ask especially against one of Romans strength players, so when word had it Brooke had entered the building a dress was quickly slipped on her and she relieved Becky about 7 minutes into the first quarter. Until this point in the game Romans had been matching Stars score line goal for goal with 5 goals each. As always with a reserve change a settling in period pursued but eventually Stars edged a three goallead by quarter end, it would have been four but Jane’s shot on goal was still in mid flight as the whistle went although successful. Score line 13/10.
2nd quarter saw no changes just a change of gear to a higher pace of play but to still keep everything accurate.
Hucclecote Stars have a fairly large sprinkling of possible future Severn Stars pathway players in Jane, Beth, Izzy, Katie and Brooke, Prem Romans also have a bunch of Stars hopefuls too in Scarlett Smith, Martha Scott, Darcie Dunn and Alice Gallienne with all these players regularly training together they could read oneanothers play putting a different edge on the game and keeping play exciting and tight.
Hucclecote wanted to put a stamp on the game but PremRomans really fought hard putting a lot of pressure on Felicity (Flick) in the mid court, that much so it was time to call a time out and have a re-shuffle at centre and WD, Bryony took the “C” bib and Becky came back on court at WD.
This gave the mid court a different dynamic and the netball began to flow through court again. By quarter end and now half time the score stood at 29/21.
A 7 goal lead but by no means safe.
3rd quarter Coach Jac kept the same line up as the 2nd ended with Flick and Helen on the bench. You could see Laura Stubbings was itching to play but had to reserve herself to just shouting advice and support.
This quarter saw Stars step it up to another gear and players fitness really did play a big part in stretching the lead to a 16 goal advantage during this period in the game score now 47/31.
Brooke Vivian really had welded herself into the WA bib and had controlled a huge part of the game ensuring great feeds to Jane and Beth who both were hitting the target with great accuracy.
4th and final quarter saw Stars slightly take their foot off the throttle which was a bit concerning as Prem Romans really fought back to ensure they got the losers bonus point, this in itself put a lot of pressure on the defence duo Izzy and Katie who worked tirelessly to try and stop the barrage of shots at goal. Prem Romans did actually win the last quarter of the game but Stars had done enough in the 3rd to secure a great victory.
Final score Hucclecote 58 Romans 47.
Player of the match went to our stranded at the train station Brooke Vivian who had arrived late but made up for it with her great performance on court.
Player of the match = Brooke Vivian
Players Player = Katie Cruickshank / Brooke Vivia
Coaches Player = Brooke Vivian
Beth Gabriel, Jane Taylor, Bryony Smith, Felicity Elvidge, Becky Smith, Issabella Robinson, Katie Cruickshank, Brooke Vivian, Helen Hynes.
Coach = Jac Gabriel
Manager = Sarah Taylor
Primary Carer = Andrew Taylor