Hucclecote faced Blades from Bournemouth today who although at the bottom end of the league table, always rise to the challenge and this they did throughout making Hucclecote work hard to earn their 43-33 victory.
Hucclecote were missing three key players, Sammi Perry and Sam Cook both injured and Rosie Barrett who was also out due to trials with the National Welsh Squad (and whom we heard did make Welsh selection so well done Rosie)!
With 3 defenders wiped out leaving only Captain Jackie Gabriel at the back, Liv Beveridge took the GK bib at the opposite end from her more normal shooting circle. Combined with young England player Lauren Brooks at WD, this was a very new look and untried combination.
The attacking unit of Rosie Allison, Gemma Gray , Neala Brennan and Sarah Adams demonstrated great moments of play during the first 7 minutes of the game and their understanding with each other showed as some brilliant through court balls and feeds into the circle found both shooters with ease.With both Allison and Gray netting 100% each this quarter, Hucclecote found themselves 4 goals up although in the latter part of the quarter Blades hit back hard. Hucclecote stayed ahead and led 12-8 at quarter time.
New look changes saw Becky Vaughan take an unfamiliar WD bib and Michaela Iffil switch to C adding fresh legs to the 'Cote' side. With Liv Beveridge creating a dominant force with Capt Gabriel at GD this combination stayed. The second quarter saw Blades step up a gear and with 2 defenders dropping into the Hucclecote circle, and putting on a zone defence, Hucclecote struggled at times to penetrate through to goal however did maintain the lead 25-21 at half time. The game was umpired well and at a great pace enabling both teams to keep the pace and take any advantages the umpires played on.
Reverting back to the starting attacking line up, Adams returned to C and Iffil was moved to WD. This combination worked well and with Jack Gabriel taking charge through court the whole team took care and control when in posession of the ball. Defensively all players worked hard helping to force a few 3 second calls but credit to Blades who also kept the pressure on to stop Hucclecote's flow.
The final quarter saw Hucclecote take the court 5 goals up, and they certainly went out in determined fashion with the objective to double their lead. Defensively Liv Beveridge and Jack Gabriel turned ball 3 times each, giving 6 further opportunities to their team to take posession to goal. However a few 3 second holds with Blades putting the attack under pressure saw possession reversed. Hucclecote's defence worked tireslessly and with Iffil also making a great impression at WD, Hucclecote took charge once more .
With excellent conversion rates Hucclecote went on to win 43-33 and although Allison and Gray converted wellon the day 84% and 80% respectively, joint player of the match was awarded to Liv Beveridge playing completely out of position at GK with Captain Jacqueline Gabriel for her dynamic imput in taking care and control throughout.
This leaves Hucclecote as clear leaders at the top of the Premiership Division One.
Squad: R. Allison, G. Gray, N. Brennan, F.Edwards, B. Vaughan, S. Adams, L. Brooks, M. Iffil, J. Gabriel (Capt), O. Beveridge
Player of the match awarded jointly to O. Beveridge and J Gabriel
Bench: S. Perry, S. Wainwright (Ass Coach) and B. Warburton (Team Manager) , Gilly Salter (Coach)