After a delayed start at Bentham, it was Stroud Eagles who took the advantage , however both teams made errors and the first quarter on court saw play go goal for goal. Maddie Norwood, had to leave the court after taking a knock, and Katy Kalap switched to GD allowing Case Lake to come on at GK. A slow scoring start saw Eagles ahead by just 3 goals to 2 although Evie Davies and Tasha Young connected well.
With Maddie Norwood able to continue, a re-arranged line saw her take back to the court at WA in the second quarter. Firebirds attack began to play some slick , fast paced netball, and this showed as they opened up the scoring opportunities and began to pull away. Holly James and Tasha Young’s understanding in the circle saw some quick release passes, and combined with Katy Kalap turning ball at the back, Hucclecote pulled away. Sadly Kalap pulled a hamstring in the second half of the second quarter and had to be taken off court. An unusual switch saw Holly James as Captain, take the GD bib, allowing Maddie Ropper on to GS for her first debut after an operation earlier this season. This took a few minutes to settle and at half time, Hucclecote had taken the lead out to 7 goals to 4.
The 3rd quarter saw Lucy Griffiths really step up at Centre asshe turned 3 clean interceptions, as well as linking brilliantly with both Maddie Norwood and Tasha Young….. Meanwhile with their Captain at GD , playing strongly with the back unit of Case Lake and Jess Gwatkins, Hucclecote continued to dominate and suddenly hit a rush of goals with Tasha Young being fed brilliantly and converted 6/6 during this phase of play.
Just as Hucclecote had put a big run on, the courts became slippery once more and sadly with only 1 minute and 32 seconds remaining on the clock for the end of the third quarter, the game had to be abandoned leaving the score at 15-5 in Hucclecote’s favour.
Gloucestershire County Netball Assosication rules at seniorlevel states that if the game is abandoned for reasons beyond their control, and the game is more than half way through, the result stands. So Firebirds are hoping this junior result will remain the same.
This was a top end table clash, and if the points are awarded to Hucclecote, this could set them into the runners up position providing they win their final game of the season against Challengers. This was an impressive effort by all players considering the number of changes made and players being put out of position.
Thanks to the parents for their support throughout and to Maisie Taylor who had just warmed up to come on when the game was called to a halt.
Squad: H. James (Capt), N. Young, L. Griffin, M. Taylor, M. Roper, E. Davies, J. Gwatkins, M. Norwood, K. Kalap, C. Lake