Hucclecote Stars Vs Titans
This week saw Hucclecote’s return game against Titans. The first match was a difficult game, with HNC only securing the win by 3 goals and finding it very physical out on the court. Due to an accident on the M5, the opposition were stuck on the motorway which allowed Stars to go and support the first half of the prem game which was a lovely treat, before returning ready to play. Having had a lot of down time, it was important that the squad regained focus and concentrated on the task ahead.
The starting lineup consisted of GS Katie, GA Jane, WA Helen 1, C Mitzi, WD Bryony, GD Harriet and GK Kellie. A strong disciplined start saw the connections between Jane and Katie at their best, opening up space at the top of the D for circle edge feeds, in addition to the speed of entry into the D by Jane. Defensively in the circle Kellie and Harriet effectively confused the space and dictated the shooters into a quarter of the circle. This combined with strong three foot marks from the center court meant we were able to create clean interceptions and take it to goal. A fast paced first fifteen minutes showed the fluency through midcourt with well-timed preliminary moves whilst keeping the court balanced. The first 6 minutes Hucclecotestormed, however this was followed by a 5 minute lull where we only scored a couple of goals.
The quarter finished 19-11 in Huccleote’s favour. We reflected on the 5 minute lull and was determined to not allow that to happen in the second quarter, and agreed every player is responsible to keep building the intensity and score line, even if the game feels comfortable. Marginal gains was the task, to keep building that score line.
The second quarter saw Issy move into GS and Helen 2 onto WD. One of our key focus points was to be purposeful in how we want to set up defensively to contest and challenge the first phase of the centre pass, something we haven’t always done effectively over the season. With Mitzi applying instant pressure and Helen and Harriet working hard to dictate their players high and wide, we put Titans under pressure and made them work hard. After a number of passes, and with clear communication from Kellie leading at the back, again we were able to put doubt into Titans mind, and force their error or create an opportunity to steal the ball. A fantastic second quarter saw Hucclecote build on their lead finish the quarter 39-18.
In the 1/3 quarter Katie and Issy remained in the shooting circle to allow more time for the connection to form following limited court time together, and this really began to strengthen as the game progressed. We identified that during Titan’s set pieces from a centre pass or side line, that we were effective in dictating and putting the first phase pressure on, but then we would often come off and give the opposition space and take the pressure off of them. This became a key focus point for this quarter.
A few additional changes took place during the quarter in the midcourt, which demonstrated the strength of options and versatility within the squad. However although the score line suggests another dominating quarter with Hucclecote scoring 15 and conceding 9, there were moments of in-decision and poor execution of pass, which allowed Titans to take to goal.
Players were honest and discussions were had regarding complacency, but as always the squad were determined to correct this and finish the match with discipline and intensity and this they did well. The last quarter was our strongest, scoring 21 and conceding 7.
This match was an excellent example of the strength in this squad and demonstrates how much well connections have formed and strategy has improved over the season as again this was a fantastic display by all members of the squad.
Oppositions player: Jane Taylor
Coaches player: Helen 2
Players player: Bryony, Harriet and Issy