Hucclecote Regional 1 Stars2018/19 Season
Hucclecote Stars Vs Aquarians – 23rd September 2018
The first game of the season for this newly formed Regional 1 was in Plymouth against Aquarians. Having had some members of the squad play during the Regional tournament where second place was secured, there was high hopes for a strong performance. The squad included: Katie (GS), Jane (GA), Helen1 (WA), Emma ©, Bryony (WD), Izzy (GD) and Kellie(GK), with Harriet and Helen2 on the bench. Izzy was selected as Captain for the match.
Our match targets were to ensure we had an early set up in any regained possession, to focus on our depth on our second phase from our centre pass, to deliver circle edge feeds (unless a clear front ball was available), and to defensively force the opposition high and wide.
Stars secured the first centre pass but it took a few minutes until we witnessed our first goal. With some new combinations it took some time to settle and Aquarians effectively made it increasingly difficult for Stars to send the ball forwards from a centre pass opportunity. Resilience helped the squad stay within a reasonable score line and there were some exceptional moments of speed, combined with creative balls into theshooting D, which were exciting to watch. The quarter finished 10-14 in Aquarian’s favour.
At quarter time Harriet made her debut at WD and had an immediate impact by making an early steal. By restricting the space for the attack, this quarter saw Kellie make a number of crucial turnovers, allowing Stars to build momentum and close the gap on Aquarians. A run of goals followed and confidence immediately grew in the squad. However Aquarians effectively broke down the fluency, forced a number of poor passes into the circle and intercepted pass attempts from shooter to shooter. However the fantastic start from this quarter had allowed Stars to take the lead, scoring 17 goals as opposed to 10 in the first quarter. Other pleasing stats showed that Stars conceded 9 in this quarter, an improvement from the earlier 14. Half time was used to let this newly formed team have time to discuss strategies to overcome the defensive line at our centre pass and how to disrupt the ball into the shooting circle as a their shooters once in possession, rarely missed.
The second half Bryony came back onto the WD and Harriet moved in to the defensive circle. Hannah moved to GS with the objective of offering the front option and working the triangle. At this point we agreed as a squad to push for goals in runs of three to build upon the lead and to gain momentum.
Aquarians defence remained tight and their three foot mark was becoming increasingly challenging, restricting opportunities this quarter to only 12 attempts at goal. Kellie and Harriet were challenged by the number of short dropped balls into the circle and found it difficult to move around quickly and low enough to disrupt this delivery from the circle edge. At the end of the quarter Aquarians had regained the lead by just one goal. Having wanted to rest Jane from GA, Hannah declared an injury to the ankle after rolling it so returned to the bench. This resulted in Katie coming back onto the GS for the final quarter.
With the spectators getting excited it was clear this was going to be a nail biting final quarter. Discussions around using a closed body position to restrict their WA/C high and wide were held in hope that this would force an error or encourage a high, long ball for Harriet and Kellie to intercept. Helen1 moved back into WA, Helen2 came into the centre position and together with Bryony this had an immediate impact. Within the first five minutes, this strategy forced three turnovers that were converted, putting Hucclecote back in the lead. Some excellent defensive pressure from Jane helped up our defensive intensity but some moments of ill-discipline, meant that not all opportunities were capitalised and Aquarians regained the lead. With just minutes on the clock, Stars were giving it everything they had to disrupt Aquarians. Aquarians kept fighting back, just as determined and there was a minute or so of ping pong Netball where poor decision making from both squads meant that the ball was given back and forth to each other in the adrenaline. Stars were trailing by one goal with just over a minute left on the clock and then concerted with Aquarian next in centre pass possession. A gutsy display of defence with Stars battling to prevent the ball going into the D felt like it lasted for significantly longer than it did, but Stars worked relentlessly to prevent the ball getting to the shooters and then eventually, the final whistle went. The finalscore was 46-46. An exhilarating first game against a squad that have previously upset Hucclecote. A promising season is most definitely ahead for this dynamic and determined squad.
Players Player: Kellie and Jane
Coaches Player: Bryony – for restricting opportunities in the final quarter and preventing the WA from getting to the circle edge
Final Score: 46-46