Hucclecote Stars v’s Titans
“Frustration Reigns in Devon”
Hucclecote Stars 45 / Titans 30
Another trip south on the M5 took Hucclecote Stars to the away match against South Devon’s mighty Titans , a club which over the last few years has been going from strength to strength winning lots of awards for it’s development in youth and adult netball.
The earlier season encounter with this side had ended in a convincing win to Hucclecote 53/36 but this was nothing to gauge the game to be played on as Stars had found out when they played Almondsbury recently !!!!
This weekend had seen a lack of umpires available due to a convention so a lot of the regional games were being postponed. To enable this game to take place Hucclecotehad accepted to play umpired by two umpires associated with the Titans club in one way or another !!!!!
Hucclecote were determined to get rid of the lazy starting quarter that the last three or four games had produced, so with a really good warm up and ready and raring to go the starting 7 took to court .
GS Brooke Vivian, GA Jane Taylor, WA Helen Hynes, C Alisha New, WD Helen Werrell, GD Laura Stubbings, GK Claire Richards and on the bench we had the attacking force of Laura Butler and the defensive force of Izzy Robinson ready to come on and make an impact whenever needed !
Well so much for the get up and go first quarter !,generally speaking each player assesses the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent but in this match the team spent the whole of the first quarter assessing how the umpires were going to umpire the game !! There was no flow to the game and with many, many turn over’s in Titans favour the quarter ended with a score line of 11 / 9 to Titans .
Maybe the Stars were simply too hungry for the ball and each contested ball was seen to be obstruction, there was a fine line to iron out and one or two or the Stars players were just treading on thin ice with decisions.
Cool heads were needed and plenty of defensive space to enable the game to flow.
The second quarter no changes were made and Stars started well cutting the deficit of goals and drawing things level at 15 goals each , then came a spat of footwork’s by players who had never put a foot wrong all season and the Titans pulled away again ! With some very strong advice from the bench Stars cut out the dancing with the ball and gave everyone 4 feet marking. Slowly but surely the goals started to come their way again.
Helen Werrell at WD was like a volcano reaching a point of eruption with umpiring decisions not going her way ,she was biting her tongue so hard something was going to give !!! The halftime whistle came just in time luckily Stars had pushed a 3 goal lead at 23 / 20.
Coach Jenna Culley inevitably had to make some strategic changes and with Butler and Robinson all fired up she gave the WD bib to Izzy and kept the volcano on the bench for the time being and Laura took over from Brooke Vivian who had almost unbelievably picked up a warning for dropping the ball , “ice queen” one week to “little devil” the next !!!!
Keep calm and let the ball do the work, classic clichés from the netball world but sensible play would bring this game Hucclecote’s way.
3rd quarter started and within a minute of play IzzyRobinson had a caution for
for obstruction, it may have been a bit of hot larva left by the volcano in the bib from Helen who knows !
There was a change of tempo in the game and Hucclecote started putting some decent phases of play together through the court and with Jane Taylor at GA and Laura Butler at GS the goals were now notching upwards .
We must not forget the great defencive efforts going on with Claire Richards at GK and Laura Stubbings at GD,things were not going Titans way in their attacking end .
The quarter ended with Stars now in a much better position with a 9 goal lead
33 / 26 by no means enough to ease of the gas pedal but enough to force Titans into more panic type netball in the 4th.
That was exactly what happened, Titans had exhausted themselves in the first 3 quarters and now were throwing loopy long balls down court which Stubbings and Richards snatched from under their shooters noses and sent them back up court through a now solid central team of Elisha New and Helen Hynes feeding our dependable shooters . A couple more footworks so everyone had hadone on court and the game was settled . 45 / 30 A very cool headed win by the Stars.
Player of the match was awarded to young Jane Taylor with great movement and shooting skills at Goal attack !!
Player of the match – Jane Taylor
Brooke Vivian, Jane Taylor, Helen Hynes (captain), Elisha New, Helen Werrell, Laura Stubbings, Claire Richards, Izzy Robinson, Laura Butler.
Coach – Jenna Culley
Primary carer – Andrew Taylor