Christmas came early today for the Hucclecote squad & their supporters at Bath STV today when they came away with a well earned victory over arch rivals team Bath.
With new coach Sam Brightman taking charge in only her 2nd match with Hucclecote, confidence was high taking the court, having lost their first encounter with Bath by one goal earlier in the season.
Hucclecote took an early 5 goal lead with Sam Cook dominating the shooting circle converting 10 from 13 shots & with Gemma Gray netting 5 from 6, Bath trailed only having had 13 attempts in that quarter.
Error rate was low, with Hucclecote not only taking care to convert their own centre pass, but also capitalising on Baths missed shots with both Sam Perry & Jack Gabriel, winning crucial rebounds which were taken to goal. Kerry Walsh coming on at C to relieve Lauren Brooks, made 5 timely interceptions and at half time the lead was extended to 7.
Laura Smith at WD worked tirelessly to close down the speedy Amanda Trounce & she was unlucky to be pulled for a number of contacts for her efforts! Neala Brennan at WA, initially found her space restricted by an extremely tight marking WD, but she still managed to put some fantastic balls through to both Cook & Gray in the circle.
Both teams made changes at half time, with Amy Godwin coming on at GK for Hucclecote to try & close down the young Bath shooter who was in sparkling form. With the home team stepping up defensively throughout the court, Hucclecote began to look under pressure for the first time. A few errors were forced & Bath clawed back 3 goals to close the gap to 4.
It was a nervous 15 minutes on the Hucclecote bench, but the players kept their nerve, with Cook & Gray netting 100% of their shots & defence duo Gabriel & Perry making 6 crucial turnovers.
Bath scored 3 goals in quick succession in the final minutes, but Hucclecote were determined not to let this game slip through their fingers & fought doggedly to keep the ball.
This result was a throughly deserved win, with the whole squad playing their part. It was also a great result to see Sam Perry off, in her last game for a while with her job taking her abroad. Everyones best wishes go with her. It was great to have the support of the injured Rosie Allison on the bench, giving advice to shooters Gray & Cook.
Squad; Gemma Gray, Sam Cook, Neala Brennan, Lauren Broks, Laura Smith, Sam Perry, Jack Gabriel, kerry walsh & Amy Godwin.
Shooting Stats - Gray 22/27 - 82% Cook 30/38 - 79%
Player of the Match - Jack Gabriel