Hucclecote Dragons travelled to Paignton for the last time this season to play their 2 remaining fixtures. With commitments in the diary once again clashing, and with 4 U.17`s representing Stars today, Hucclecote took the bare minimum of 9 players, as the league also clashed with Gloucestershire U.16 fixtures.
First up they took on local team Titans and although they started with a high error rate, Issy Eaton kept the in full flow converting 17/18 attempts 94% in the first period. The second quarter saw them find better rhythm and connections through court and this enabled them to release early with the ball travelling to goal at a fast pace to goal. The return of Ellie Gabriel in defence saw her reunited with Captain Hannah Howl and both intercepted and rebounded with power. The final quarter saw Katie Pauling switch to GS with Eaton out at GA and the feeding and vision from the young 14 year old GA was outstanding. Pauling put up 21 attempts in this quarter alone and helped Cote to run out winners 75-37.
Stats I. Eaton 47/53 88% and Player of the Match
S. Winfield 12/13
92% and K. Pauling 17/21 81%
Next up were Poole, who were hot contenders in 2nd place in the league. Hucclecote started well, and with Sophia Winfield playing some great shooter to shooter ball , converting 4/4 herself, and taking interceptions helped set the pace. This continued through until the half time and with Ellie Gabriel dictating and denying Poole GS the ball, or taking rebounds from missed shots, Hucclecote led 31-22 at half time. With great support from injured player Tash Englefield suffering blisters, and with Scarlett Jinks also unable to continue due to leg pains, the 7 remaining players fought on valiantly. Eaton was outstanding again at GS, and with Nadine Baird placing precision feeds, Poole had no reply. The second half saw Freya Coull working tirelessly to hunt ball at WD, and with Captain Hannah Howl stepping up the number of intercepts, Hucclecote continued to pressure. A final switch of Pauling to GA in the final quarter saw Hucclecote fire in their highest number of shots running away with the win 66-39. Player of the match was jointly awarded to Sophie Winfield who put out a fantastic game thinking display on court alongside Ellie Gabriel in defence who just dicated and took control at the back.
Stats I. Eaton 55/61 90% S. Winfield 8/8 100% K. Pauling 4/5 80%
This see`s them top of the league with an undefeated run all season so far.
The next few weeks at training are critical with the squad now vying for places to attend the regional and national finals, and this will certainly prove a hard task based on some great performance this season.
Thanks must be given to all the parents, carers and supporters who have travelled between 450 and 600 miles to play these matches. And to the two young umpires Anna Stephens and Evie Stuart Davies who have put themselves up for this journey and developed into two very strong umpires. And to Polly Anna who stepped in to help cover on one weekend when the club were short.
The commitment to this league has been huge, and Coaches Wendy Burgess and Gilly Salter are extremely grateful for everyone`s support and very proud of this squad taking the league by storm.
Squad: I Eaton, S. Winfield, N. Baird, S. Jinks, F. Coull, K. Pauling, H Howl (Capt) E. Gabriel (Vice) N. Enfelfield