Hucclecote Panthers 54 v Exeter 25
Hucclecote Panther first quarter looked a little unsettled against a strong and tall Exeter side. Defensively Panthers turned a lot of ball , however mid court through to the shooting circle looked untidy in the opening quarter. This coupled with poor shooting conversion rates by both of Panthers shooters, 8/13 attempts (62%) , let the Exeter side stay in contention as the quarter ended 8-6 in Panthers favor.
The second quarter saw Lucy Martin on to WA and Elisha New into her normal position at C and this change round saw Panthers slip into top gear with both players demonstrating some fast and well timed movement which often left the home crowd in awe. Defensively the back unit of Caitlin Santacroce, Ella Powell Davies and Issy Robinson were dynamic and the turnover rate continued to press down on the Exeter players. Although the ball flowed beautifully and the shooters doubled their attempts to 26 , they were still not quite on range, converting just 65% . The disruption from the defence end coupled with Elisha New having a storming time at centre, put them in good stead as they pulled away to an awesome 25-9 goal lead at half time.
The second half saw more changes with the welcome return of Ellie Spark back from injury taking the WD bib. In addition Alice Bradley was introduced to the GS position to add a bit more height and a different style . This took time to settle and when it did, Bradley was clever and created space on the first time ball swinging it out to the supporting attacking players. This allowed team mate Jane Taylor to take the front cut ball and put up the majority of shots which she did well netting 13/14 attempts. Defensively, Captain Ella Powell Davis had a stormer, reading the opposition's game brilliantly and time after time came out of her range to steal long balls through court which earned her player of the match.
With the lead extended to 42-15, Coach Gilly Salter was able to make final changes, bringing on a previous U.16 combination together in the defensive circle with Santacroce on at GD and Eve Saunders behind her. A final switch also saw Beth Adkins take on the WA bib with Lucy Martin moving to GS. Whatever the combinations, Hucclecote continued to excel and Exeter had little reply leaving Hucclecote clear leaders of the U.16 Regional South West League as they ran out winners 54-25. With just one game remaining, Hucclecote'saim is for a clean sweep of the league and having played Ferndown from Poole once this season and taking a good victory, their aim is to repeat this again.
Thanks to Sarah Taylor for her great supporting role as Team Manager, and to the many parents who score, help provide teas and to Andrew Taylor for taking the photographs. This was a well contested game and well controlled by two very good umpires one of which was Gloucestershires Lorraine McNickle.
Squad; A. Bradley, E. Hale, J. Taylor, E. New, E. Spark, E. New, I. Robinson, E. Powell Davis (Capt), C. Santacroce, E. Saunders
Stats J. Taylor 38/49 78% E. Hale 10/15 67% L. Martin 2/4 50%