Hucclecote Premiership Division One Squad whose motto for the day "Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much" was certainly apt in their first encounter against a tough Kent side where they took the match 45 goals to 22.
Under the new captaincy of Jackie Gabriel and coach Gilly Salter, the preparation before todays game has seen the squad work hard on reducing error rate throughout the court and this they did superbly.
Demonstrating a calm approach , the defence unit of Rosie Barrett stepping up for a whole game, supported by the experienced Jackie Gabriel at GD and Kerry Walsh at WD saw this unit put huge pressure on the Kent side restricting them to just 10 attempts during this quarter.
Sam Cook at just 17 took the helm at centre , a new position where she steadily linked defence through to attack well, and combined superbly with Becky Hemming back after a season out through injury on the WA. The decision making enabled the error rate to be kept to just one poor pass during the first 15 minutes and with the shooting circle given lots of opportunity, 14 attempts during the first period. Whilst clinical finishing of putting the ball in the net was not quite where it should have been , confidence was still high and the score of 7 each at the end of the quarter did certainly not reflect the amount of possession and turnover Hucclecote had gained.
One shift saw Beveridge take the GS postion switching with Gemma Gray to GA and this paid immediate dividends with Beveridge on fire scoring 7/9 and Gray 5/8 during this period of play leading Hucclecote to a 19-11 lead at half time.
With Sarah Lee on to Centre at half time, and Cook moving back to WD , Hucclecote continued to produce some outstanding quick release well timed moves through court, enabling both shooters to have plenty of opportunity which they took in their stride. Gabriel at GD was instrumental in pulling her unit together tightly, leading from the back ensuring Hucclecote put pressure on an already pressued Kent side. 3/4 time saw the difference increase to 32-16.
Leaving the team line up the same, Hucclecote continued to impress with Cook once again demonstrating great athletism during the final 15 taking 4 clear intercepts for her team. Meanwhile at the other end, Lee played strongly , and with Becky Hemming having her best performance on a return game, made sure that shooters Gray and Beveridge were well fed which they converted with ease.
The final score of 45-22 was a huge boost for a team that have a new look this season having lost several key players who have now moved on to pastures new and they performed at the highest of levels no matter what the combination leaving the bench in awe at times with their fast and accurate play.
Becky Hemming deserved the named Player of the Match, for her control and determination returning back at this high level. It was a close call with Gabriel, Cook and Gray all demonstrating great performances alongside this.
A great start to the season and a united squad approach which was clear to see.
Squad: G Gray, O Beveridge, B Hemming, S Cook, S Lee, K Walsh, J Gabriel, R Barrett
Shooting Stats: G Gray 20/30 O Beveridge 25/37