An inter-club match is always a thrilling contest and todays game did not disappoint. Hurricanes were missing a few regular players, but that aside, the 8 players who took the court were all keen for a win, despite playing their club friends.
Hurricanes were a little relaxed in the warm up, however they were ready to take the court at the start of play. Lightening had the first centre pass and quickly converted. A poor pass by Hurricanes into the shooting circle saw Lightening’s GK Izzy Robinson take a very early intercept which resulted in a stolen goal. Lightening again scored quickly off their own centre pass and Hurricanes were 0-3 down within 2 minutes of the game starting.
Hurricanes continued to play erratically, throwing the ball away, allowing Lightening to have the better quarter of the two teams. Hurricanes drew level after 12 minutes of the first quarter with the score line at 11-11. Hurricanes failed to convert all turnovers but capitalised on enough to end the first phase of play 15-13 in our favour.
The team remained in the same combinations at the start of the second quarter, with the hope to build on the 2 goal lead. The game continued to ‘not go as planned’ and within 2 minutes of the 2ndquarter, Hurricanes had lost their 2 goal advantage. A few unforced errors by Lightening were converted by Hurricanes and after 5 minutes Hurricanes had a 4 goal lead. Despite 10 unforced errors this quarter the 4 goal lead was carried through until half time with a score line of 31-27.
The line up at the start of the 3rd changed slightly for Hurricanes, with the defensive due of Zoe and Flic swapping positions, and also a direct change between Simone and Sophie at WD & C respectively. There were elements of wonderful netball but too many errors resulted in Hurricanes having their fewest attempts at goal this quarter at 16 compared with a very determined lightening netting 15 of their 22 attempts. Hurricanes found themselves losing this quarter by 4 goals, entering the last quarter 42-42.
At the start of the 4th quarter, Zoe and Flic changed defensive positions again, trying to make life for an injured Zoe as less stressful as possible. Sarah came on as WA, moving Ali to C, allowing Simone to have a well deserved rest. With the team talk centred around reducing error rate and self belief, a focused Hurricanes squad took the court, with the aim to go out hard to put distance between the scores. I am pleased to report that after just 2 minutes Hurricanes had a 5-1 lead in this quarter and really gained a composure not seen before in this game. Errors were reduced considerably to 5 and a beautiful flow to the game emerged. Ali and Sarah had precision passing into shooters Beth and Michelle and we had our highest attempts at goal, scoring 16 out of 22, compared with Lightening converting 7 from 10. The final score of 60-49 would indicate a relatively comfortable win, but that was far from the case!
Hurricanes dug deep and despite the errors, still came away with a respectable win against Lightening. All credit to Lightening for a great game. The future for Hucclecote Netball is certainly bright!
Beth 45/55 =82%
Michelle 15/20= 75%
Beth Gabriel, Sarah Valentine, Michelle Dowle, Ali Croad, Simone Ulyate, Sophie Howells,
Felicity Elvidge, Zoe Gresham