The long trip north was made without any hitches & the squad arrived in plenty of time to unwind after the 4 hour journey.
Confidence was high & the team took the court very positive & determined to start well, which is where in the past the game has been lost.
Outstanding defence by Sam Perry & Sam Cook disrupted the Oaksway shooting circle from the outset, forcing the GS into an unusually low conversion rate ( 8/13) Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on this possession with errors & missed shots in our attacking third.
However after the first period with a deficit of only 5 goals ( 4-9) it was still all to play for.
Switching Flo Edwards to GA & Gemma Gray to GS immediately paid off with Gray netting 8/11 & Edwards 1/2. With the Oaksway GA having to take more shooting on however they still edged into a 7 goal lead.
With a change in mid court, Hucclecote began to get some rythym through court & enjoyed much more possession than Oaksway. Sarah Adams coming into the C & Laura Smith moving to WA seemed to open up the centre third & with Cook now at GD supporting, Hucclecote had 17 attempts at goal in this period.
Defencively through court, Hucclecote were tenacious, hassleling & chasing everything & in this 3rd quarter Oaksway only got the ball through to their shooters 6 times! Once again our inconsistency in the shooting circle did not allow us to take a deserved lead, though the gap was closed to 5 goals.
Youngster Hannah Jeavons had a hesitent start at GA, but in the final quarter began to settle netting 5/7 attempts.
Kerry Walsh did a stirling job marking the main feeder, so much so that she was replaced for the final quarter! Adams & Smith patiently built the attack but still found it difficult to find their shooters against a very tight marking, physical Oaksway defence.
Throughout the match, the dynamic duo at the back Perry & Cook were outstanding, denying Oaksway shooters the ball & pouncing on any missed shot. It was Cook however who was in absolute awesome form, particularly in the final 15 minutes, turning the ball over 9 times! It was this performance that gained her player of the match.
The final quarter was drawn, so overall the 2nd half was won, but it was not enough to close the gap to within 5 which would have gained the bonus point.
Although that was disappointing, it was a much more determined & gutsy performance than the first fixture & there were many positives that should be taken from the game.
The really low score reflects the performance of the defence at both ends of the court & the pressure both sets of shooters were put under.
Player of the Match - Sam Cook
Shooting Stats - Gray 20/34 - 59% Edwards 1/5 - 20% Jeavons 7/13 - 54%
Thanks to Keith & Abby for support on the bench, driving & scoring. Also the Perry household for hosting & feeding most of the squad on Saturday evening!