Hucclecote 47 v Oldham 37
Hucclecote hit the court hard having had a four week break due to England altering their fixture list and you would never have known this. The first fixture with Oldham back in November saw Oldham start strongly and Coach Gilly Salter asked her players to set the pace on this occasion and this they did brilliantly from the first blow of the whistle. The focus for the day was to remain ‘calm’ in order to maximise performance with all players taking this on board.
Within minutes Hucclecote had gained a 4-1 lead and this in part was due to some outstanding intercepts by Rosie Barrett GK , Jackie Gabriel (Capt & GD) and Sam Cook WD. In addition, Olivia Beveridge GA found and fed Rosie Allison GS with ease putting in some great balls committing the defence one way before placing into Allison which she converted well. Oldham eventually found more space through court but the 14-10 result reflected a very positive and determined start from Hucclecote.
The second quarter started in the same light with Hucclecote setting the pace and increasing their lead to 6 at one point. Oldham though regained their composure and gradually began to claw back the deficit with some excellent shooting being demonstrated by their GS who netted 7 out of 8 attempts. With errors creeping in on the Hucclecote side it was Oldham’s quarter as they closed the gap minute by minute to just 24-23.
Hucclecote brought on Sophie Baxter to C and Sarah Lee (returning from her injury) to WD and this immediately opened up opportunities with Baxter initiating 3 clear intercepts in the first 5 minutes helping Hucclecote to edge ahead once more. Sarah Lee’ tight 1:1 and defensive strategy against old team mate Rachel Henry closed down the available space enabling the defence duo once more to turn ball. Baxter’s vision and flair feeding the Hucclecote Circle pair was outstanding as was the link with Hemmings who also produced a strong performance. During this quarter Hucclecote ran away with the lead ending the quarter 38-29 gaining another 8 goals in this period alone.
The final quarter went pretty much goal with goal, until Oldham got back on a run and Hucclecote just lost focus for a short time. Hemmings came off injured and Anna Mayes took the WA bib for the final few minutes slotting in well. Hucclecote did not however let Oldham back into the game, and with the smell of victory took the final game to a great 10 goal margin of 47-37 . This was an excellent result after a 4 week lay-off. This victory keeps Hucclecote clearly in contention for the Premiership title with 2 games still in hand. Today’s player of the Match went to Sophie Baxter who had an outstanding performance demonstrating both attacking and defending play. Thanks to youngsters Flo Edwards and Lauren Brooks for making the commitment to travel and be on the bench.
Squad:- R.Allison, O. Beveridge, F. Edwards, B . Hemmings, A. Mayes, S Baxter, L. Brooks, S. Lee, S. Cook, J. Gabriel, R. Barrett.
Managaement Team : Gilly Salter, Barbara Warburton and Sue Wainwright