Hucclecote Comets v Carole Anne Lost 43 – 34
Hucclecote Comets trip to Barnstaple saw them take a flexible squad allowing them to try out different combinations against a strong Devon side.
With the opposition having tall shooters and defenders at both ends, Hucclecote started with Kellie Hull and Amy Beales in defence to try to counter act this. Whilst this was the plan , and Amy Beales & Taryn Lawrence turned 4 intercepts between them in this period, it was the attacking shooting circle that struggled to create sufficient opportunities with only 8 attempts in 15 minutes. This showed with the score line at 14-7 in Carole Anne's favour.
Kellie Hull switched to GS and Willie moved to GA, and with Jo Hutching and Rebecca Deo on at GD &WD respectively, the experienced Amy Beales moved back to GK. Instantly the defending trio made an impact. Captain Kate Nicholls also took more control in her familiar WA bib and linked well with new team mate Jodie Webb. Although Hucclecote went on a run of goals and at times some neat netball was played, their error rate still proved to be too high. The positive sides aw 'Cote' stick to task defensively throughout all areas of the court and Carole Anne began to panic, with attempts to their own goal significantly reduced in this 15 minute period. By reverse, Hucclecote had 13 attempts at goal enabling them to close the deficit to just two goals at half time 18-20 (taking the quarter 11 goals to 6).
With such a positive pull back only one change was made with Taryn Lawrence coming into the Centre position to give fresh legs. Lawrence used space creatively and also turned two great interceptions, helping to keep Hucclecote in contention. Just as the Hucclecote defence kept the pressure on Carole Anne's shooters, Hucclecote's shooters dipped and although they received the highest number of attempts in this quarter (16 in total) at 8 attempts each shooter, conversions saw their attempts reduced to just 55% and 50% respectively allowing Carole Anne to keep the advantage by 3 goals leaving the score at 30 goasl to 27 at ¾ time.
The final quarter saw one further change with youngster Annabelle Stayley back on to WD . Stayley instantly took the first steal off of the oppositions centre pass but sadly Hucclecote did not convert to goal and error rate across the whole team increased once more. As the clock ran down Hucclecote continued to work hard, but struggled to find their shooters as Carole Anne's defence stuck tight. In addition, the error rate throughout increased letting Carole Anne extend their 3 goal lead to 9 winning 43-34 overall.
Although this was not a huge loss and a better result that the 22 goals they lost by in their last encounter last season, Comets did show what they are capable of and need to have the self believe and determination to succeed .
Amy Beales had an outstanding game at the back and deservedly gained Players Player as well as Coaches Player of the Game. Betsy Willie was also nominated as Player of the Game by Carole Anne.
With two tough matches out of the way, third time lucky will hopefully see a clear victory next week.
Thanks to Sue Hull for scoring on this away game.
Squad:- K. Hull, B Willy, K. Nicholls (Capt), A. Stayley, J. Webb, R. Deo, T. Lawrence, J. Hutchings, A Beales