Match Report 04-02-18
“Stars Team Effort Reaps Rewards”
Hucclecote Stars 55 / Exeter 45
It seemed such a long time ago that Exeter had given Hucclecote a real shake up with a resounding victory over us scoring 54 goals to 30 back in October last year. Admittedly we had travelled to Exeter without a full strength squad of players and no coach so the odds were somewhat stacked against us from the off ! This time the return game was to be played at home here at Cheltenham College and with a strength side. Missingour captain Helen Hynes this week Becky Vaughan had been asked to try and fill her shoes in the mid court area. Becky is one of those class players playing under the radar of the Glos County league along with a handful of other ex Regional playersthey make up an awesome Team called “Hurricanes” !!
Warmed up and all the team talks carried out, Coach Jac selected the starting 7 Brooke Vivian GS, Beth Gabriel GA, Becky Vaughan WA, Felicity Elvidge C, Bryony Smith WD, Izzy Robinson GD, Lydia Jones captain at GK which left Jane Taylor returning from injury and Katie Cruickshank on the bench.
1st quarter saw Hucclecote come firing out of the blocks with everybody on court really pumped up and passing nice clean ball around which Brooke and Beth were converting with ease. Stars had really taken the bit between their teeth and were giving Exeter a taste of Gloucestershire pressure.
I can’t really write that with Stars players coming from all sorts of different counties but you know what I mean !!
Exeter have a well honed set of shooters who normally were very accurate but Lydia and Izzy had knocked their confidence forcing them into mistakes on goal, these re-bounds were quickly snapped up by our defence duo and sent back down court where the advantage was gained. Stars at the end of the 1st quarter now had a 4 goal lead score being 15/11.
2nd quarter saw a re-shuffle of players in the defense with Bryony taking a breather Katie Cruickshank took the GK bib Lydia moved to GD and Izzy WD.
Coach Jac has a wealth of multi talented players in this squad able to play in a number of different positions with no problems at all, this giving Stars the surprise element to many oppositions.
This quarter was another fast pace start with Stars ball handling accurate and quick, Becky Vaughan really was stretching her legs and arms hounding players into mistakes and forcing turn overs. Katie meanwhile back at GK was again collecting re-bounds along with a clean intercept which were smartly sent back down court.
Beth at GA had kept a good high goal average but Brooke had just missed one or two, this didn’t dent the overall half time score now Stars were up 6 goals 25/19.
Coach Jac gave the team plenty of feed back during the half time break and a few strategic changes were made, Beth moved to GS and Jane Taylor came on at GA, her first appearance on court for Hucclecote since injuring her ankle back in early December, Brooke picked up the WA bib and Becky took control of the centre court, the defense stayed the same.
Exeter knew they had to try and close our centre court down so they made a change at WA bringing on fresh talented legs and they also made a change in their defense to try and slow down Beth’s shooting onslaught.
3rd quarter saw Exeter really fight back and they stepped up their game. Our shooting circle was still working fine with Beth and Jane only missing a couple of goals between them, but the mid court which Exeter had targeted were really feeling the squeeze. With one or two poor passes and a ball over a 3rd Exeter crawled back into the game winning this quarter and now only one goal behind Stars. The score line now stood at 39/38.
The 4th and final quarter was going to be a show stopper for one team or the other, so Coach Jac had another re-shuffle in the defence putting Bryony back on court at WD, Lydia at GD and Izzy at GK the mid court attack with Becky and Brooke stayed the same and the dependable hands of Jane and Beth up front were already in place .
This quarter was all about the defence turning the game to Stars advantage with both Lydia and Izzy snapping up any missed balls and confidently transporting them down court to our shooting circle who were netting everything they could get their hands on.
Goal by goal minute by minute the quarter ticked by .
Becky Vaughan was still making such a presence mid courtupsetting any flow of Exeter ball forcing errors to be capitalized on.
Hucclecote Stars really did turn up the heat and drove the final score line to 55/45.
A fantastic turn around game from the first encounter not only winning but depriving Exeter of the close score losers bonus point.
All the players had played and a huge amount of satisfaction had been achieved you could see in their smiling faces.
Player of the match was awarded to Beth Gabriel who had stayed solid and accurate the whole match in the shooting circle.
Player of the Match = Beth Gabriel
Coaches Player = Becky Vaughan
Players Player = Becky Vaughan
Squad = Brooke Vivian, Beth Gabriel, Becky Vaughan, Felicity Elvidge, Bryony Smith, Izzy Robinson, Lydia Jones, Jane Taylor, Katie Cruickshank.
Coach = Jac Gabriel
Manager = Sarah Taylor
Primary Carer = Andrew Taylor