Matches versus The Downs is always a tough encounter & never more than today with 6 Premier squad players injured or unavailable!
It did however give coach Sam Brightman the opportunity to play a couple of Regional one players & to "blood" 2 newcomers to Hucclecote!
The first quarter was fairly evenly contested, with The Downs just edging into a 3 goal lead. This was partly due to 100% conversion rate by England GS Rachel Dunn who had been given "special" permission by EN to play Premier League for The Downs.
Newcomer to Hucclecote Lois Rideout, had the unenviable job of trying to contain Dunn, teaming up with captain Jack Gabriel in the circle.
This duo did a tremendous job throughout the whole game, turning numerous ball & forcing errors from Dunn & her partner McHale.
During the 2nd quarter particularly, far too many turn overs were squandered through court & The Downs `took full advantage storming into a 10 goal lead. Young shooter, Katie Swetman, recently arrived from Australia was put into the circle to offer a different style of play with Jeavons moving out to GA. The feeds were hesitant, understandably, as `this combination had never played together, but with improved error rate, the deficit was only 4 goals that quarter. Neala Brennan at WA had a particularly tough time against a very physical WD, who was fortunate not to be penalised more than she was! Brennan kept her head though, putting in some fine feeds to the shooters.
With the score at 21 -36, the shooting circle reverted back to the more tried Jeavons & Gray. Clare Richards, who had worked tirelessly at WD was replaced by Brooks from the C position & youngster Thea Thompson took the middle. Playing with renewed energy, Hucclecote began to match the opposition goal for goal! With the trio at the back making 8 turnovers in the final 15 minutes & Jeavons & Gray stepping up a gear netting 15/19 attempts, Hucclecote finished the game with some pride, actually winning the quarter by 2 goals!
Squad; Hannah Jeavons, Gemma Gray, Neala Brennan, Lauren Brooks, Clare Richards, Jack Gabriel, Lois Rideout, Thea Thompson & Katie Swetman.
Shooting Stats; Jeavons 16/19 84% Gray 65% Swetman 3/5 60%
Player of the Match - Hannah Jeavons
Thanks to Kerrie Walsh & Mrs Brightman for support on the bench & Andi Brennan for scoring.