Hucclecote Dragons Secure 1st Division Place in Netball South WestU.16 League

Hucclecote Netball Clubs U.16 Dragons team took the South West Regional Tournament in style winning all four of their games to secure a place in the 1st Division for this coming season. Sponsored by Alpha Dragon Cement for another year, the girls looked smart in their new tops.

With a squad of 10, the Dragons took on Exeter in their first fixture and demonstrated some fast flow play through to goal where shooters Issabelle Eaton and Georgie Thorpe (playing in her first game with the Dragons this season),  scored with ease scoring 95% and 80% respectively. Katie Pauling playing in one of 3rd choice position at GD set the pace at the back stealing 3 clean interceptions in the first 10 minutes.  Exeter worked hard throughout however Dragons roared into the lead taking the game 25 goals to 10.

Play of the Match was awarded to:- Nadine Baird

Next up saw them take on Bath Cougars who had started the tournament with a big win against Penzance.  The Dragons showed great composure with Nadine Baird at WA demonstrating some real athleticism and agility on court. Emily Seymour-Perry at WD linked superbly with the back unit of Captain Hannah Howl and Katie Pauling at GD, and BathCougars struggled to penetrate through to their goal shooters. Meanwhile Natasha Englefield and Mia Mathewson both in mid court provided some excellent through court options showing great speed and change of direction, and this allowed their shooting circle to be well fed where they went on to win 21 goals to 6.

Play of the Match was awarded to:- Katie Pauling

Taunton were next up and the Dragons shooting circle proved unstoppable.  Eaton netted 100% scoring 14/14 and GA for the second half saw Sophia Winfield also net 100% with 5/5 attempts.  Winfieldsprecision ball placement and understanding with Thorpe showed as she found her with ease. Scarlett Jinks back from injury also took on a great role at WD for the entire game and through dogged determination and tight 1:1 marking turned 3 clean intercepts at full stretch.  The final score of 35-1 demonstrated the strength and depth that this current Dragons squad have.

Play of the Match was awarded to:- Emily Seymour-Perry

Their final game saw them take on Penzance, and with Katie Pauling at GS for the first time this tournament saw a beautiful demonstration of holding, dictating and movement combined and she did well with the switch by converting 86% of her shots in the first half.  With Eaton out on GA still producing 100% , there was little that the Penzance or other team defence could to stop Dragons incredible shooting power from all 4 on the day. Baird and Seymour-Perry linked superbly in this game and half time saw Dragons with a 16-2 lead.  With Georgie Thorpe offering her services at GK, supported by Capt Hannah Howl at GD and MiaMathewson at WD, the turnover rate proved to be huge, with Captain Hannah Howl taking 8 Interceptions out on court showing great elevation and speed whilst hunting the ball. It was a great effort again that saw them win 31 goals to 4.

Play of the Match was awarded to:- Hannah Howl

This secured Hucclecotes 1st Division Place in the South West U.16 Regional League this season where they hope to take a top 4 place to get through to the Regional Finals and thereafter a top 2 place to get to Nationals next spring.

Thanks to our parents, and carers for supporting on a long drive, and for providing hot refreshments to all on a very cold day.  Finally our personal thanks to our umpire Anna Stephens whose commitment to support us for a third year is very much appreciated.  We wish Anna well for her B Award Test next weekend.

Squad:  I. Eaton, S. Winfield, K. Pauling. N. Baird, M. Mathewson, E. Seymore-Perry, H. Howl, G. Thorpe, N. Englefield, S. Jinks.