Flames were all early to bed on Saturday night in anticipation of a 5am wake up call, getting ready to leave at 5.30am for the 3 hour journey to Plymouth for the regional seeding tournament. Manager Phil did an excellent job making sure all girls could get to the venue and provided parents with all the information they needed.
All 16 teams entered the venue 9am on the dot, so finding a ‘team spot’ was the first job of the day....... Flames were on first game of the day again a strong West Exe team, emphasis was placed on a dominant start and having confidence in others. The score quickly went 3-1 in Flames favour, but then silly errors crept in and nerves got the better of us as a team and we couldn’t capitalise off our own centre pass or turn overs. Half time we were down 6-7. Again we started the 2nd half tentatively, which reiterated the nervous connection on court, which unfortunately continued for the rest of the half. There were elements of great play but ultimately we didn’t gain composure, which reflected the end result of 13-13. Not the start we had hoped for!
Flames regrouped, reflected and visualised what we wanted to achieve today. As a result we were ready for game 2 V Galmington. Flo made her ‘broken nose’ debut with amazing grace (no pun intended!) and brought a calming influence on court, which was exactly what was needed. As a consequence of reflection, adapted strategy and a combined team effort we won the game 23-9.
We then faced Storm, who were coached by ex-Glocs regional academy coach Natalie Pepperal, so she was familiar with quite a few of our players. 100% shooting stats from both our starting shooter helped get the game cemented in Flames favour, leading at half time 11-6. Changes made at half time again didn’t faze Flames and we ‘stormed’ the 2nd half, resulting in a final score of 24-11.
Next up we faced Pinehurst, a team very familiar to Ella! Flames had found their mojo by now and produced a beautiful display of netball, securing the first half 10-3. Again, changes didn’t affect the dynamics of the performance and the second half was equally as slick resulting in a win 24-9.
Our last match was against Clevedon Royals, who although they had lost against teams we had beaten, managed to get a 2 goal win over West Exe, who we drew our first match with.......we needed to maintain composure and put out a finale performance to secure our Division one place in the regional league. Flames started strong and never relegated on their dominance securing the first half 15-4, again with 100% shooting stats from both shooters. The 2nd half proved equally as successful, ending the game with a victory of 27-9.
Flames were top of their section, securing a division 1 place, a brilliant achievement to a very talented U16 Hucclecote squad.
I am an extremely proud coach. All players contributed considerably to the success of the day. The beauty of an interchangeable and versatile squad is a coaches dream and I am very hopeful for a successful season.
Personal thanks to manager Phil, who is a joy to work with, Fiona for scoring, and above all to all the parents who provide unquestionable support and commitment to this club.......a 5.30am leave probably isn’t the ideal way to start a Sunday morning!
Lastly, to all the wonderful players.....thank you. What a super squad effort. Proud of you all.
Beth Gabriel, Alex Baird, Katie Cruickshank, Ella Flatman, Flo Needham, Liv Mitchell, Lucy Griffin,
Harriet Sanderson, Flick Elvidge, Emma Bennett.
Beth 81/87 = 93%
Katie 19/22 = 86%
Alex 12-15 = 80%