Hucclecote Comets 43 v Titans 43
The Comets v Titan game brought real excitement to the court when Comets managed to claw back a four goal deficit to steal a draw in the final 30 seconds of the game.
Comets however started the game the stronger of the two teams and initially stormed into a 6-2 lead with outstanding feeds by Captain Kate Nicholls and Becky Vaughan at WA and Centre respectively. The two shooters Betsy Willey and Milly Price consistently created wonderful opportunities in the circle with Price playing strongly considering she had been poorly in the few days before the match. Meanwhile, Tee Idahosa upset the rhythm of the accurate Titans shooters who initially missed her first 3 goals before putting a score on the board. Titans were slow off the block but it wasn't long before they got back on track and started to claw the goals back making it 11-10 in Hucclecotes favour at the end of the first quarter.
With Taryn Lawrence back from injury and taking the court at Centre for her first game since the end of September, this was Comets only change. Once again the initial first five minute saw some exciting interactive play with Lawrence involved . The only issue was that Hucclecote could not sustain this for fifteen minutes and as per the first quarter, Titans challenged hard again and began to convert with ease as well as putting Hucclecote under pressure leaving the score in Titans favour at half time 22-18.
Several changes took place in the Hucclecote squad and the biggest impact of these was Rebecca Deo moving to GD and Jo Hutchings back to her familiar GK position. The tightness of 1:1 defending put Titans under pressure and their numbers of goals were certainly restricted during this phase of play due to the tight marking throughout mid court and in the back unit. The score remained at 4 goals adrift for Hucclecote going into the final quarter.
One final change saw Ella Harvey take the GS bib pairing with Willey at GA releasing Price for a well deserved rest. From the start of the final quarter whistle, Comets took the ball to goal easily and suddenly hunger through court to steal the ball increased. Several interceptions were taken although frustratingly, not all these made it through to the shooting circle due to a number of errors creeping in before they got to the goal third. However, Comets continued to defend hard one on one, and they began to force Titans into making a huge number of errors in this quarter. With less than a minute to go Comets had clawed it back to within one goal, and with direction from the bench to mark tight, Titans lost their centre pass due off the sideline giving possession to Comets for the final 30 seconds. With everyone on the edge of their seats Comets took the ball to goal and just seconds before the final whistle went they nailed the goal to give them a draw.
With relief all round Comets were ecstatic to have pulled off 3 points in a game that could have gone in Titans favour. Player of the match by both Titans and Comets Coach Gilly Salter was awarded to Betsy Willey who is having a storming season. She netted 84% 21/25 and carried on playing even though she had sustained injury to her hand.
Thanks to Michelle Dowel for stepping in to help score on the day J
Squad; B. Willey, M. Price, E. Harvey, K. Nicholls (Capt), B. Vaughan, T. Lawrence , R. Deo, J. Hutchings, T. Idahosa
Players Player and Coaches Player of the Game : B. Willey
Stats: B. Willey 21/25 85% E. Harvey 11/14 75% M. Price 11/19 58%