Hucclecote Stars v’s Exeter
“Stars dig deep to deprive Devon’s Best !”
Hucclecote Stars 50 / Exeter 43
Neutral venue game played at Plymouth University St Marks and St Johns Sports Centre
This first game after the Christmas break was a real wake up call for Hucclecote Stars. Having had to travel all the way south, to Plymouth, to play what should have been a home game, was a bit of a drag, but the same was put on all the teams in the South West of England. The sooner we have a facility suitable for hosting big tournaments indoors here in Gloucestershire, the better. !!!!!
Stars influential mid court player, Sarah Adams, had been drafted up to the Premier side, playing in Chesterthis opened up a playing place for an up and comingcapable young talent Elisha New to get a taste of regional 1 play.
With a bench only numbering 8, a lot of pressure was put on the players to avoid injury at all costs!
Exeter was a side that has improved throughout the first half of the season with a lot of youth and fitness on their side, not to mention a very tall accurate goal shoot.
The first quarter coach, Jenna Culley, played a strong familiar 7, leaving Elisha to study how this unit play and play well they did!
The pace of the game was incredibly fast by both teams with Hucclecote managing to convert more goals and edging a lead. Just before the quarter was out Emma Mckenzie took a familiar injury to all netball players, a stubbed finger, by a fast pace ball. We could see this was quite a serious stub, so with an injury time outcalled, Elisha New picked up the Centre bib and got her debut under way .
Hucclecote played out the quarter and had an 8 goal leadfor their efforts 17/9.
The second quarter saw Exeter claw back 5 goals through their accurate Goal Shoot and some preventable turnovers. This game was now turning into a muchtighter challenge. The defensive duo of Laura Stubbingsand Claire Richards worked tirelessly to contain the shooters, but were forced into umpiring decisions, which kept giving the shooters the advantage at goal!!
The score line stood at 26/23 to Hucclecote at half time,just 3 goals in it, so it was any ones game.
During the half time break primary carer, Andrew Taylor, worked miracles with Emma Mckenzies injured hand and he had her strapped up and ready to get back into battle again!!! Coach Culley made a few changes to the line up, resting Helen Hynes from mid court who hadput in 120%, as she always does. Emma Mckenzie took the Wing Attack bib and Elisha New remained at Center.
Hucclecote needed to put a stamp on this game, as it was too tight for comfort.
The 3rd quarter got under way and with some fierce competition in mid court, seeing players putting themselves on the line, the game went goal for goal. Collision after collision saw players strewn all over the court competing for ball, but battered and bruised they allplayed on. Helen Werell had played a key role in slowing down Exeter’s through court ball, showing great resilience in ball competition!!!
The physicality in this game was due to both teams wanting this result so bad. Hucclecote just started to edge away towards the end of the quarter with Elisha New feeding the circle well to her “old/young” teammate,Jane Taylor, who showed great movement throughout the court, as well as in the circle. The quarter finished with Hucclecote 5 goals ahead, 36/31, a score line that had not secured anything, by far.
Fifteen minutes to go, lots of things to put right and Hucclecote could not afford any mistakes. Back on courtstepped Helen Hynes taking the WA bib and with Elisha New and Emma Mckenzie powering up the centre court every thing was set.
Exeter did not lie down and managed to get the turn over ball they needed to get the scores level at 38/38. Suddenly they started to play with the belief they could take Hucclecote down. At this point in the game, with very cool heads and great game reading, Jane Taylor took two clean intercepts which were converted and the great working combination of Laura Stubbings and Laura Butler saw Stubbings at GD throw an inch perfect ball to GS, Butler to seal the fate of the Exeter team . Now with Exeter playing panic netball the forced errors came in and Hucclecote capitalized on them even depriving the Devon side the losing bonus point. . Final score 50/43.
Hucclecote had certainly burnt off all those Christmas mince pies and started the New Year as they plan to go on!!
Player of the match went to Jane Taylor although she quoted “it is a team effort and they all deserved this accolade”
Player of the match – Jane Taylor
Laura Butler, Jane Taylor, Helen Hynes (captain), Emma Mckenzie, Helen Werrell
Laura Stubbings, Claire Richards, Elisha New.
Primary Carer-Andrew Taylor