Hucclecote Premier vrs Team Bath
Hucclecote’s loss by one single goal in their first Premiership match of the season was a bitter pill to swallow having pulled back from a 4 goal deficit in the firsts 15 minutes to being 1 ahead in the last. Supporters, parents and players however were kept on their seats until the last 30 seconds of the game in an exciting battle to secure the win.
The build up to the game saw confidence grow even though Captain Jack Gabriel and youngster Lauren Brooks and Rosie Allison, back from New Zealand were unable to play due to injury, illness and England commitments. This was followed by new comer Thea Thompson being diagnosed with chin splints and Helen Werrell being taken poorly the day before leaving Hucclecote with just 7 players from last year’s premiership long squad for the game. With Flo Edwards available but not yet registered on the Prem List and Sarah Lee unavailable Regional 1 stalwarts Dowel, Howell-Jolls and Richards offered to step onto the bench to ease the pressure.
The first quarter saw a new combination of Gray and Jeavons at GS/GA respectively and with Laura Smith and Neala Brennan supporting. Meanwhile the back trio saw the familiar Cook at GK, Perry at GD and Walsh at WD. The first quarter took time to settle as both teams threw ball away forcing unnecessary errors. Bath hit a good patch and began to pull away taking the lead by 9 goals to 5 in a low scoring first quarter.
Changes saw Michelle Dowell take the GS bib and Gray move to GA and this duo certainly put the Bath defenders through their paces. With Smith and Brennan also switching positions, suddenly Cote found some great pace and with Brennan playing some quick release one two’s to Dowell and Gray, gradually pulled back some of the deficit. Defensively the trio at the back also pressured the Bath attack stealing 6 intercepts (2 each) and reduced Bath’s GA to 50% conversion rate. Whilst Hucclecote had much more possession, Bath continued to be tenacious and began to pick off lifted balls leaving Hucclecote 2 down at 15-17 at half time.
A further switch suggested by on court Captain Sam Perry saw her change positions with Cook. Bath were put under huge defensive pressure as Hucclecote forced more intercepts and pressured the shots with Superleague Team Bath’s Asha Francis reduced to 50% conversion netting just 3 out of 6 during this phase. With confidence rising Hucclecote ended taking the quarter by 3 goals and the lead by 26 goals to 25.
The final quarter had the audience sitting on the edge of their seats as play went goal for goal. A fair result would have been a draw as both teams worked tirelessly to get the ball through court. The game finished with 52 attempts each, but with Bath netting 63% of their shots and Hucclecote 62% the loss was tough to take losing the game by just 1 goal 32 goals to 33. Gray however proved to be the most consistent shooter on the day and must take some credit for 33 shots and netting 70 % of these. In addition, Brennan ‘s switch to WA earned her player of the game as she produced a great display with no errors at WA position and dominated in attack.
Thanks to Anna Howell Jolls and Claire Richards for stepping in to support and to the bench and Barb Warburton and James Thomas Table Officials.
Squad:- G Gray, H Jeavons, M Dowel, A Howell-Jolls, L Smith, N Brennan, K Walsh, S Perry, S Cook, C. Richards