Hucclecote saved the best til last and in the final 15 minutes certainly showed what they are made of.
With a squad of 11 available Coach Gilly Salter had already discussed the options to make changes if the game allowed and this she did giving opportunity of 10 of her 11 squad.
The first quarter saw Hucclecote with a familiar line-up of Alison, Beveridge, Hemmings, Baxter, Cook, Gabriel and Barrett. The experience of the starting 7 opened up an early lead and at one point in the first quarter Hucclecote went 6-1 up but it didn’t remain that way for long with Blades showing some flareful play and closing the gap to just 11-8 at the end of the first period. Allison was on song netting 91% during this quarter and Baxer’s impact at centre saw her take 2 clear intercepts and put in some awesome feeds.
However it was the defence duo of Barrett and Gabriel (Capt) who really shone on the day, with this unit showing solid understanding and Gabriel turning ball after ball gaining her player of the match. With the youngster Brooks introduced at Centre and Baxter moved to WA, Hucclecote started strongly again with Brooks initiating 3 turnovers herself early on. However, Blades never gave up and continued to work hard with Hucclecotes lead edging ahead by just 3 more goals 24-18 .
3rd quarter changes saw Edwards making her debut at GA and with a change in their mid court unit, Lee on to WD, Baxter to C and Hemmings to C, Hucclecote lost some rythm and suddenly found themselves being closed down. With Edwards coming off with 2 minutes to go due to tweaking an ankle Beveridge came back on and although Hucclecote were still 4 goals up at this stage, Blades were on a run and narrowed the gap to 29-27 at ¾ time.
Sarah Lee moved to Centre for the final 15, and with Cook back on to WD, this gave it stability and the steady play that was needed in the 3rd period returned. Blades just didn’t know what had hit them and with Gabriel on fire taking turnovers and rebounds Hucclecote went on to score several goals in succession with Beveridge having a great final quarter. In a game that was never in doubt, Hucclecote’s final quarter demonstrated their passion to win, and conversions to goal saw them take 8 goals out of 9 opportunities winning the game by 47-31. Barrett also gave another strong performance on the day.
Squad: R Allison, O Beveridge, G Gray, F Edwards, B Hemmings, S Baxter, S Lee, L Brooks, S Cook, J Gabriel , R Barrett