Hucclecote saw “RED” in the 3rd
Hucclecote Stars 43 Team Bath 60
On the most wet and miserable day you could think of Hucclecote Stars travelled down to Prior Park College in Bath to play the return match against Team Bath.
The facilities at this magnificent college were outstanding and the views over Bath City on a nice day must be absolutely breathtaking.
Putting all this wonder aside the game in hand was what the girls were now concentrating on.
We already knew Bath were going to field the strongest side they could and with such height in the shooting circle we needed a secret weapon, so we brought one along with us namely“Kellie Hull”. Luckily Kellie was still able to drop down from the Prem squad and give the Stars team a boost with her defensive skills. Stars were also missing a few key players that were part of the squad that so nearly beat Bath earlier in the season, Beth Gabriel was away at the final England U17’s Camp Trials and Jane Taylor very nearly recovered but still unable to play match play yet. Poor Becky Lewis had sustained yet another injury outside of netball to her ankle making her alsounavailable for a while. The last absence was coach Jac on transport duties for Beth so coach Lynne Vivian stood up to the plate for this important game.
These absences did not dent the determination and spirit of the Stars squad, they are a universal bunch and not phased by anything, they hold a great team camaraderie.
Umpiring the game were two familiar faces Michelle Easterbrook and Jenna Culley. It must have seemed a little weird for Jenna as she was the Hucclecote Stars lead coach all of last season and now was running the side line watching her old team perform. There were no bias and both umpires carried out their duties with precision and fare play.
Warmed up and a quick team talk by coach Lynne starting 7 were :- Katie Cruickshank GS, Brooke Vivian GA, Helen Hynes captain WA, Bryony Smith C, Izzy Robinson WD, Lydia Jones GD, Kellie Hull GK, reserves were Felicity Elvidge and draughted up from Comets “the girl on fire “ Harriet Sanderson.
The Bath coach has asked me to refrain from using any of the Bath players names within my report as it can be read by the public so I apologise for all you readers that may have wanted to know who the Stars were playing against my reference to the opposition players may seem a little blunt but my hands are tied along with my creative writing !!
1st quarter saw both teams throw everything at one another. Katie Cruickshank at GS netted 8 out of 9 shots on goal whichgave the whole team a boost of confidence along with Brooke not missing any either, so the front engine of the team was running smoothly. Unfortunately the mid court engine wasn’t running on all it’s cylinders and with a slightly unfamiliar combination the passes were not going to hand !. The opposition were lapping these balls up and benefitting through their GS.
Izzy Robinson at WD was trying her hardest to close down a fellow Severn Stars team mate at WA but with an old Hucclecote Prem player playing for Bath at GA she really had her work cut out.
Quarter end and the score was 19/11.
Coach Lynne could see that Bryony wasn’t her usual self so bought on Felicity Elvidge at centre, this was the only change made at this point in the game.
The second quarter could only be described as a messy sort of quarter with players being pulled up for lots of obstructions and goals not going in when they were needed, never the less Felicity (Flick) fresh on at centre gained two clean intercepts and controlled the circle knowing the opposition players well, one a former Hucclecote Star at WD, one a current Severn Star at WA and one a past colleague from RPA days at Centre.
Lydia Jones GD and Kellie Hull GK were working hard and communicating well in the defensive “D” although Lydia was being penalised quite a lot for obstruction, this made shooting for the GS a lot easier having so many free shots on goal.
Regardless of all this, Bath only increased their lead by 2 goals so Hucclecote had definitely stepped up a gear.
Half time score 31/20.
The half time break was a full 8 minutes which Bath had insisted on so after a boost of vitamin “C” from the half time oranges supplied by manager Sarah and a quick chat by coach Lynne the girls got back on court and stayed warm with a few drills in what so a cold sports hall.
Just two changes made going into the 3rd Brooke and Katie swopped shooting bibs, Brooke going to GS and Katie GA and our up and coming Star Harriet Sanderson took the WD bib from Izzy who had played a great half.
The 3rd quarter got underway and all you could see was a whirlwind of “Red Hair” on court Harriet was everywhere making the biggest nuisance you have ever seen to great effect. She achieved 2 clean intercepts within minutes of being on court and tipping balls on route to Bath’s shooters.
She certainly bought a whole heap of vigour to the court and this showed as the Stars lifted their game. Lydia and Kellie got on top of the shooters and Flick and Helen really got under the skin of their opposition upsetting their game.
Stars traded goal for goal and you could see Hucclecote were really enjoying this quarter regardless of the score.
Happy determined players play so much better and at the end of quarter 3 you would have thought we were leading the game by the enthused players smiles and conversation.
Bath had only scored 1 more goal than Stars during this period so the players knew so much had been lost in that first quarter.
4th and final quarter no changes made just get out there playhard and enjoy the game.
This game had been a very physical game demanding the utmost fitness and the Stars players had shown great qualities in composure and fitness, especially in defence where Kellie and Lydia had fought hard to quell the GS from shooting. The oppositions GA had struggled to net all her goals ending the game with a low shooting average so job well done defence.
Brooke at GS ended the game with a 100% quarter shooting stat 7/7 with Katie not far behind her.
This team showed great resilience throughout the game, which you could see that the spectators and families had enjoyed watching.
From my point of view the word “proud” of them comes to mind!
The opposition gave player of the match to captain Helen Hynes who had cemented herself into the WA bib and lead by examplethe whole game.
Player of the match = Helen Hynes
Players Player = Helen Hynes
Coaches Player = Katie Cruickshank / Kellie Hull
Katie Cruickshank, Brooke Vivian, Helen Hynes, Bryony Smith, Izzy Robinson, Lydia Jones, Kellie Hull, Felicity Elvidge, Harriet Sanderson.
Coach = Lynne Vivian
Manager = Sarah Taylor
Primary Carer = Andrew Taylor