Hucclecote Comets 34 v Titans 39
Playing away at Pinehurst's home venue in Swindon saw the local side take an early advantage with some good connections through the court, particularly to their GS who played a holding game protecting space well. Comets had much possession but didn't get off to a great start with a high error rate during this phase. This didn't however stop them having more attempts to goal but sadly not all were converted as Hucclecote trailed by 2 goals 8-6 at the end of the quarter.
One adjustment for Hucclecote saw Anna Joll and Captain Kate Nicholls switch GA and WA bibs and although attempts to goal and converted attempts improved, Hucclecote were still off par and defensively they struggled to contain the Pinehurst Shooting Circle. Becky Deo and Jodie Webb worked hard one on one during this period of play but it the final looped ball into their GS that punished Comets. Pinehurst started to dominate and Comets found themselves surprisingly down by 22-13 at half time.
The third quarter saw Joll move to GS and Willey out to GA with Captain Kate Nicholls back to WA. Suddenly the Comets attack took control and with Taryn Lawrence having a great game at centre, Hucclecote hit back hard and started to reduce the 9 goal deficit. Joll's experience in the circle in taking on the GK added more depth, and with Nicholls in fine form the linkages looked exciting to watch. The defending unit which now included Annabelle Stayley at WD changed tactics and this also began to have an effect with Pinehurst GS having less opportunities to shoot. Lawrence's precision balls through court and into the shooters lifted confidence and with Willey finding great space and timing netted an awesome 12/12 in this quarter leaving the score at just 5 goals down at ¾ time.
The squad remained unchanged for the final 15 minutes and during the first half of this final quarter Hucclecote got onto a positive run and brought the score to within 2 goals. Defensively Becky Deo , Jo Hutchings and Stayley turned more ball with the new strategy , and with Pinehurst GS only having 4 attempts, really reduced the opportunities well. However, the second half of the final quarter Pinehurst hit back again, and as the clock ran down, the gap widened leaving the score finally at 39 -34 in Pinehursts favour.
Hucclecote Comets player of the game was Taryn Lawrence who displayed some stylish netball throughout , stealing some excellent interceptions and taking care of the ball to goal. Betsy Willey once again also impressed netting a wonderful 81% with the opposition naming her play of the game.
This division is certainly a challenge but one that Comets are more than capable of maintaining. Thanks to Alison Stayley for attending as Team Manager/Scorer .
Squad: B. Willey, A. Joll, K. Nicholls (Capt), T. Lawrence, J. Webb, A. Stayley, R. Deo, J. Hutchings.
Players Player: B. Willey Coaches Player: T. Lawrence
Stats: B. Willey 26/32 81% K. Nicholls 3 / 4 75% A. Joll 5/15 33%