Hucclecote Premier Squad saw the welcome return of 3 players today, with Jack Grabriel having her first run out for some time following illness. In addition Neala Brennan was cleared and back to full fitness after injury and Sam Perry under strict instructions to play for no more than one quarter. With two other regular prem squad members out with school trips, this allowed the squad to be added too and in particular bringing in Flo Edwards to join the shooting circle.
Hucclecote set up a great pace from the outset with some outstanding interactions between Rosie Allison at GS and Neala Brennan placing some amazing feeds in. Combined with Gabriel at GD taking the court for her first run out for some time, saw her steal two intercepts early on urging her team to goal. Team Bath were left standing whilst ‘Cote’ stormed into a great lead. Iffil at WD worked like a terrier sticking like glue and she too forced many errors from Bath as well as creating turnover and opportunites for her side. Adams did well in controlling through court and she too put some precision feeds in. Hucclecote’s dominance saw them 15-7 up at the interval creating an 8 goal lead.
With a good home crowd once again supporting and with 10 named players on the bench, Coach Gilly Salter brought on Lauren Brooks switching with Sarah Adams wanting to give exposure to all players. Brooks did well and with Gemma Gray working wide and creating some great drives into the circle, Hucclecote continued to build on their lead and were 14 goals up at half time winning the quarter by 7 goals .
Resting Gabriel for the third quarter, allowed Hucclecote to bring on Sam Perry for her one quarter run out at GK which pushed out Rosie Barrett to GD. In addition, Adams came back on at centre, and for the first time this season Flo Edwards who only last week was named to join England U.17 at the European Championships in March, was introduced to GA.
The new combinations continued to gel well, and in particular Rosie Barrett produced a brilliant display stealing 4 clean interceptions during this period. In attack , Edwards debut was confident scoring 3 out 3 as well as finding Allison easy to feed. However it was Brennan who continued to be the dominant feeder on the day displaying amazing vision into the shooter and a good understanding with her shooting team mate Allison. 42-21 up was a great ¾ time score.
The final fifteen minutes saw Team Bath hit back hard, and with Hucclecote making final changes to allow all 10 to gain court time impacted on the home side in taking time to settle. Error rate crept up although Hucclecote continued to penetrate through court and take turnovers. Umpires Julia Harvey and Adele Venner kept control and up to speed, even when Brennan place long range feeds through from mid court to the shooting circle. Brennan’s return to the game today and precision feeds earned her player of the match, and although the final quarter was a little messy, Hucclecote extended their lead to take victory by 55-32 goals leaving them clear leaders at the top of the Premiership.
With a tough match away next weekend, Hucclecote Coach Gilly Salter is keeping fingers crossed that the injury and fitness situation continues to improve before their next game knowing that the title is still at stake.
Squad: R. Allison (86%), G Gray (77%), F Edwards (100%), N. Brennan, S. Adams, L. Brooks, M. Iffiil, J. Gabriel (Capt), R. Barrett, S. Perry.
Bench: Gilly Salter ( Coach), Sue Wainwright, Barb Warburton and Jo Lambert
Player of the Match : Neala Brennan