Hucclecote Premiership rounded off their season in style, saving the best till last, taking victory for the first time against Oaksway and ending up in their highest Premiership Placing ever - 3rd in the Country.
Taking on Oaksway has always been a challenge and none more than yesterday with a history that has always seen Oaksway take the 5 points – but yesterday the tables turned in a brilliant and determined display from the Hucclecote squad.
The first quarter saw Rosie Allison and Rosie Barrett take the court with vengeance in mind and no matter what Oaksways defence tried, Allison found space and netted with confidence. Meanwhile team mate Barrett at the opposite end of the court at GK got the better of the Oaksway shooter taking 3 clear intercepts, tips and 2 rebounds from missed shots. Defensively Hucclecote ‘s unit proved tight, and with Captain Jacqueline Gabriel using her experience and leadership on court, supported by Sam Cook at WD and Sarah Lee at C, the defensive strategy of putting pressure on the pass certainly forced lifted balls which Barrett picked off as easy pickings leading Hucclecote to a 14-10 lead.
The second quarter went goal for goal until Gabriel went down in agony with 3.5 minutes remaining This forced changes with Cook moving to GD and the young 15 year old Lauren Brooks taking the court at WD. For a few minutes this unsettled their positive play allowing Oaksway back to within one goal.
With Gabriel definitely unable to continue, one more change saw the attacking Unit include Beveridge into an unfamiliar playing position at WA , and Hemmings pushed to C. Once the new line up had settled Hucclecote’s play began to flow well with Beveridge putting in some great feeds to her team mates Gray and Allison who scored 11/11 opportunities. Grays timing and speed through the base line opened up opportunities. Both umpires controlled the game well with some excellent decisions allowing the game to continue at pace.
Hucclecote took to the court for the final 15 minutes leading 35-28. With Sarah Lee back to WA leaving Hemmings at C, and with a supportive bench giving encouragement, Hucclecote could definitely sense victory was in the air. Allison once again gave an electric performance netting 11/11 long range shots and with Barrett having one of her best performances of the season, turning 5 more opportunities to possession,Hucclecote looked totally in control with every player on court giving their all.
The final score line of 49 goals to 40 in Hucclecote’s favour was the icing on the cake in a season that has seen the whole squad grow in self belief and support for one another placing them as the 3rd top club in the Country.
The only disappointment was to hear that Captain Jacqueline Gabriel has ruptured her Achilles tendon....we all wish her a speedy recovery and hope to see her back at training in August.
Thanks to Barbara Warburton for her support as Team Manager, to Sue Wainwright, dedicated and supportive at every game, to everyone including our Regional 1 squad who have been so supportive in stepping in when needed , and to the many scorers and timers who have kindly donated Sundays to volunteering in these roles.
Squad: R. Allison, O. Beveridge, G. Gray, F. Edwards, B.Hemming, S Lee, L. Brooks, S. Cook, J. Gabriel, R. Barrett