Hucclecote Netball Club U.14 Dragons seal their place through to South West Regional Finals
A very slim line U14’s Dragons team this week, travelled all the way to Plymouth for the double header to determine if they would qualify for play offs in April. With 5 of the starting 7 recovering from flu, Dragonswere not looking the strongest Dragon side for a while. However in true Dragon’s fashion they knew they needed a win to go through to the playoffs and set to the court determined to do just this.
Dragons Vs Team Jets 24-14 Win
Winning the centre pass, Dragons scored quickly to take the first points, some good intercepts from Alex Neilson and Meg Knight kept the ball away from the Jets post. Eva Andrews and Meg Knight feed GS Katya Jennings some lovely high balls. Both Katya Jennings and Alex Bairdproduced 100% shooting stats and Dragons won the quarter 9-3. Dragons were unsettled however through mid-court and they lost a number of passes which allowed Jets to score off their mistakes and forget their nerves. By Q2, Dragons were still battling with some poor passing but with intercepts from Katya Jennings, Meg Knight, Alex Neilson, Harriet Sanderson and Connie Trendle they started to lookmore drilled and composed. However Jersey Jets became far more physical through mid-court and some serious contesting began to affect the Dragons midcourt. However, Dragons continued to find KatyaJennings in the circle and they exited the quarter 14-6. Quarter 3 saw some great intercepts from Alex Baird at GA, Meg Knight, Harriet Sanderson and Connie Trendle, but again this only increased the physical play through midcourt by Jets, which started to impact the girls and after two falls by Dragons centre Meg Knight which left her winded, Dragons won the quarter again 20-10. Some changes in quarter 4 put Meg knight to WD and Alex Neilson to C, the Dragons continued to turn ball with intercepts coming right through the court and Dragons exited the game deserving winners 24 – 14 securing their place through to the South West Regional Championships.
Dragons vs West Ex – Lost 30-20
The second game against West Ex was always going to be tough as they needed to win to qualify for playoffs. Holly James took the court in her debut appearance as GS for Dragons against West Ex’s very tall GK,alongside Alex Baird as GA. West Ex showed immediately how much they wanted to win and Dragons lost the ball off their centre pass from which they scored. With such a tall defender and excellent opposition defence Dargons struggled to find their shooters and West Ex won the quarter 5-7. Maddie Norwood took the court for Dragons in quarter 2and took an intercept and a tip but Dragons were unable to stop the West Ex shooters and they ran away with the lead to 10-16. A much stronger performance in quarter 3, and with much better control of the ball through mid-court, Eva Andrews and Meg Knight were able to get somewonderful high balls to GS, Katya Jennings who was able to score 5 quick points to draw the quarter 6-6. In quarter 4, Holly James came on as GK, Connie Trendle to GD and Harriet Sanderson moved out to WD. However Dragons couldn’t keep the West Ex shoots away from their post and they continued to be extremely accurate with Dragons losing this quarter 4-9 allowing West Ex to run out winners 30-20.
Although a loss, Dragons had already sealed their place having secured the 5 points in their earlier game, so are now through to the Regional Playoffs in April alongside Poole Emeralds, Poole Fern and Team Bath. They will need to secure a top two placing to earn them a place at National Finals.
With Gilly Salter away on netball duties in the Middle East, Julie Andrews stepped in to the lead Coach position and managed the squad on the day doing a fantastic job. Thanks to the parents who travelled to support and helped with the administration on the day.
Squad: K.Jennings, A Baird, E Andrews, M Knight, A Neilson, H Sanderson (captain) C Trendle, M Norwood, H James