Hucclecote v’s Aquarians
“The Bournemouth Tide was Too High for Stars”
Hucclecote Stars 29 / Aquarians 50
The show down game of the season with Hucclecoteonly 3 points ahead in the league over Bournemouth based Aquarians netball club, the winner of this match was to determine 1st and 2nd of this years South West England Regional 1 League.
After an arduous drive to Bournemouth on a sun kissed weekend along with so many other people heading south for the sun and sea, Hucclecote finally arrived at the Leaf Building, Duck Lane, Bournemouth.
This sports centre set in a secondary school was simple massive. Designed for indoor volleyball and football, the netball court was simply swallowed up by the shear scale of the building.
Aquarians had a lot of home support and warmed up under the watchful eye of Gloucester rugby legend Junior Paramore, whilst Stars went though their all familiarwarm up routines.
Hucclecote’s bench numbered 9 with no last minute additions, so everyone in the squad knew each otherscapabilities.
Starting 7 were Brooke Vivian GS, Jane Taylor GA, Helen Hynes (Captain) WA, Emma Mckenzie C, Helen Werrell WD, Laura Stubbings GD and Claire Richards GK this left Elisha New and Laura Butler on the bench ready and raring to go!
The first quarter got under way and Stars managed to turn a ball almost immediately but this wasn’t converted meaning they were already chasing the score line from the start. The all familiar mistakes were made from both sides whilst they got to know one anothers strengths (at this level there were very few weaknesses to gain! ). Goals were traded and the netball flew from end to end on court. 15 minutes gone and there was only 1 goal in it to Aquarians 9/8.
This game was not only a skilful encounter but a very physical one too!!
Moving into the 2nd quarter no changes were made by either side just the advise from Coach Jenna Culley to step it up and shut down your opposite number.
Stars defence duo Laura Stubbings and Claire Richards (Ricko) worked their socks off making life very, very, difficult for the mature Caroline Leaton at GS, who was best described as Aquarians “War Horse” accurate in her shots and working well with her goal attack. Equally at the other end of the court Stars “Severn Stars Duo” Brooke Vivian and Jane Taylor were slotting goals at a similar rate with Vivian running 100% shooting stat.
As the tempo of the game increased so did the physical aspect and the with the umpires not asserting their authority on the game the rules were being stretched verythin!!!! Quarter end finished with Aquarians edging a 3 goal lead 21/18.
This so far had been the final everyone was expecting very close and hard fought.
3rd quarter, coach Culley used her fresh legs from the bench, Helen Werrell getting a breather from WD with Elisha New having to cover the very fast Aquarian/Severn Star Georgia Allen at WA , Laura Butler slipped on the GS bib resting Brooke Vivian from the physical onslaught of Aquarians captain Sam Moggat GK.
Aquarians only made one change at GS with Lucinda Leaton replacing her mother who had played well but our defence team had forced her into early retirement!
Somehow there seemed to be an air of tension as the players stepped back out on court for the 3rd quarter with umpiring decisions not going Stars way and Aquarians seemed to be thriving on our frustration.
Things weren’t going to plan in the mid court and Aquarians stole two consecutive centre passes, converting each time pushing the score gap further away from Stars. At the end of quarter 3 with the score now 33/24, Hucclecote had not been this far behind in any game they had played this season, so a sense of overwhelmingness over shadowed the quarter talk.
Coach Culley was running out of things to try, so Taylor made way for Vivian to come back on at GA and Captain Helen Hynes gave Helen Werrall the last 15.
Things got underway in the last quarter and Aquarians had turned into a pack of hungry wolves with a killer instinct they attacked every ball fighting tooth and nail literally at times!!!
Laura Butler at GS had to call an injury time out with a nasty set of nail marks down her inner thigh, so on came Jane Taylor to finish the game out in her place.
The game had been a game of 2 halves with Aquarians dominating the second half. The final score of 29/50 doesn’t reflect the effort every Hucclecote player put into the game, sometimes playing what felt like 8 or 9 players. With chins on the floor and a very sombermood, every player congratulated one another as good sports men and women do!!!
Player of the mach was awarded to our “Ice Queen” Brooke Vivian for her phase free play and great shooting stats. Likewise the opposition 2nd half GS Lucinda Leaton was also awarded player for Aquarian, this only her second match back from a nasty Achilles injury 12 months ago!
Looking at the league table both Aquarians and Stars with one catch up game to play, if a miracle should happen and Almondsbury should beat Aquarians and Stars beat Bath, there is still a mathematical chance Stars could win the league!! So everything to play for, bring on Bath!!!
Player of the match Brooke Vivian
Squard: Brooke Vivian, Jane Taylor, Helen Hynes (C), Emman McKenzie, Helen Werrell, Laura Stubbings, Claire Richards, Laura Butler and Elisha New
Coach: Jenna Culley
Primary Carer: Andrew Taylor