In a week where Hucclecote Premiership squad was up against the odds it was a tremendous battle that saw them take victory against New Cambell away in Essex. The week began with Capt Jackie Gabriel still unable to play or travel due to a fractured rib, Kerry Walsh and Sam Cook unavailable due to knee ligament injuries and Rosie Allison to England Senior Training.
However Hucclecote's strength and depth showed with former premiership player Jane Hicks returning to the fold at Goal Defence, and young 16 year old Rhianna Hallbrook brought into the squad after some awesome shooting apperances in Regional 1.
The starting 7 played with confidence and the shooting circle of Olivia Beveridge and Gemma Gray converted consistently finding their form of old. Gray was outstanding scoring an overal 84% and really rose to todays challenge which justly earned her player of the match. The first quarter saw both teams play some end to end netball and New Cambell having the home advantage managed to take a 2 goal lead.
The 2nd quarter saw Hucclecote up the pace, and at one stage with some great defensive work from the back unit of Sarah Lee, Jane Stringer and Rosie Barrett went 2 goals into the lead. Anna Mayes in only her second game of the season controlled the mid-court play and her quick and agile movement through court, saw some great front ball feeds into Beveridge at shooter. Cambell hit back and the score remained close at 20 each at half time.
Gray demonstrated some fabulous shooting throughout and with more control through mid-court and Hemmings releasing ball quickly, Hucclecote's lead extended. A physical defence who worked tireslessly to distrupt Hucclecote were penalised by two strong umpires on the day and the score saw Hucclecote at plus 2 at the end of this period and a feeling that with their noses in front they would never look back.
A determined final quarter, and an impressive display of controlled decisive netball saw all players contribute with great positivity leading to a superb 49-44 victory and both shooters netting some fine goals.
Thanks must go to Rhianna Hallbrook travelling the distance supporting Hucclecote in what could have been a difficult situation if one player had gone down and to Jane Hicks for changing her schedule with only one days notice to step up to the challenge.
Squad: O Beveridge (73%), G Gray (84%) , R Hallbrook, B Hemming, A Mayes, S Lee, J Hicks and R Barrett.
Player of the Match : Gemma Gray
Hucclecote would also like to extend thanks to team manager Barbara Warburton and to Sue Wainwright for their continued support at every game.