Hucclecote Dragons Take the U.16 South West Regional Title and Panthers secure 5th in the whole of the South West Region
Hucclecote’s winning ways continued when they played their last two double header fixtures of the season at the Paignton Academy. Dragon’s came away with a clean sheet winning every game with margins that were impressive.
The challenge on Sunday saw them take on Poole from Dorset , their closest rivals in 2nd position. Their first quarter saw nerves on show but after the settling down phase, and with Nia Evans making an impact at WA, and Darcy Scott showing great control, Dragons pulled ahead by 6 goals. The second period of play was not as clinical although Jennings at Shooter nailed high percentages on her shots. The third quarter saw switches in mid court, and although the Dragons continued to pull ahead, linkages were not as effective, and the error rate began to climb. Leading 47-33 at the end of the 3rd phase, changes were made bringing on fresh legs with Olivia Garrardto WA and Meg Knight to C and this combination combined with Captain Harriet Sanderson, Ellie Gabriel and Hannah Howl stealing ball at the back enabled Dragons to have more opportunity. The umpiring throughout the game was spot on and Katya Jennings scored an impressive 51 from 53 attempts (96% conversion rate).This earned her player of the match and helped her team to a stunning victory winning 64-40 and securing the South West U.16 League Title with one game remaining.
Their second fixture of the day saw them take on local team TTNC from Devon. With a determined effort, this squad stamped their authority on the game early on. Alex Baird was in formidable form, placing pinpoint feeds into her partner in crime Katya Jennings at GS. Their understanding in attack showed and with Nia Evans and Darcy Scott working on quick release balls, they took the first quarter by storm 29 goals to 8. The second quarter saw a new mid court combination on with Olivia Garrard, Meg Knight and Amy Cook all coming on. They too excelled themselves and with awesome support from the back duo of Sanderson and Howl, the lead extended to 54 goals to 10. The third quarter saw the squad mixed up again leaving TTNC with little they could to with a Dragons team who were on fire leading 71 goals to 19 at ¾ time. The final 15 minutes saw the back trio of work tirelessly turning ball with Ellie Gabriel pressuring well with her team mates, and with an urgency to hit a three figure ending, Knight and Garrard worked relentlessly to ensure good distribution through to both shooters. Baird continued to dictate at GA and with Cook back on at WD with the aim of fresh legs turning more ball, this paid off and they eventually scored an amazing 108 goals to TTNC’s 25 giving them their biggest win of the season and a club record in the number of goals scored. Alex Baird was awarded Player of the Match having played out two full games at GA producing one of her best performances of the season.
Whilst the Dragons had roared throughout this season, creditalso needs to go to their Panthers U.16 squad under the coaching eye of Wendy Burgess. Panthers also made it into the South West Regional League with the majority of players still being a year young. Connie Trendle, a true U.16, lead her team well, securing an incredible 5th place in the South WestRegional League, a fantastic achievement.
With the many journeys to Paignton and the many hourstravelled for each double header (approximately 10-12 hours each time), thanks must go to the Janey Garrard for her superborganisation in sorting out two squads, two coaches and up to 18 players for every game. To our umpires Anna Stephens, and Evie Stewart –Davis we could not have achieved this without them and thank them too for giving up so much time. And finally, to our amazing parents, carers and supporters, you have been a fantastic Hucclecote army, supporting and cheering everyone on
Our next challenge will be in two weeks time when Dragons take on the other top 3 placed teams, Team Bath, Saints and Poole, to gain a top two placing at Regional Finals to earn an opportunity to get to National Finals.
Dragons Squad:-Katya Jennings, Alex Baird, Darcey Scott, Olivia Garrard, Meg Knight, Amy cook, Nia Evans, Ellie Gabriel, Hannah Howl, Harriet Sanderson ©
Panthers squad: Nadine Baird, Rose Dillon, Ilana Turner, Tash Young, Freya coull, Scarlett Jinks, Grace cappel, Connie Trendle, Phoebe Lines .