Hucclecote who are still top of the Premiership had their best victory yet against local rivals Linden who are definately off to play offs to try to retain Division 1 status for 2011-12 season. Taking a 10 goal victory was good enough to get 'Cote; the 5 points they needed keeping them in top slot with one remaining re-arranged game to go.
From the outset, Hucclecote stormed into a dominant lead with umpires Bernie Young and Andrea Cowherd up to the pace and making some great decisions to aid the game for both teams. The upfront trio of Allison, Gray and Becky Vaughan, making her return debut after several weeks out, worked really hard to drive through the attacking court to create shooting opportunites. With Perry at GK, Rosie Barrett at GD working the circle tightly, and captain Jack Gabriel at WD taking 4 clear and determined interceptions, Hucclecote's slick defence linked well with Adams who ensured control and order through to goal leaving 'Cote somewhat surprised to find themselves 11-4 up.
With Linden's Stalwart Coach Collette Thompson's input, the second quarter saw added pressure defensively and 'Cote' struggled initially to get through to the D to find their shooters. However with one switch between Gray and Beveridge on the GA, Hucclecote found their rythm in the final 7 minutes, and managed to hold onto their lead 19-10 at the half time stage.
With Gray back to GA and with Beveridge to WA, and a dome that was hot and dry, the added addition of Michaela Iffil ensured Hucclecote were good to go. Beveridge put some great feeds into Allison who netted 9/10 attempts in this quarter, and with Iffil's speed through mid court, began to open up the gap. However Linden worked together well to contain the home side who could only add one more goal to the difference being 28-19 up at 3/4 time.
Gabriel's display on court today was quick, dominant and controlled and with several clean intercepts throughout earned her player of the match. With Sarah Adams back on at WA for the last quarter, and with Beveridge back to GA, Hucclecote's first centre pass saw a great roll off at the first centre, leaving the Linden WD standing. Hucclecote's work rate continued , and with everyone in the squad playing their part, Linden could do little to curtail the difference to stop them for the first time in their history going to play offs. As for Hucclecote, it was a great squad effort and one that saw them clinch the victory b 10 goals by 39-29.
Thanks to Michelle Dowel for being part of the Prem Squad today and to Sam Cook who supported at the junior play day and encouraged from the bench.
With the re-arranged New Cambell game to go on the 3rd April, at home at 2.00 o/c Hucclecote look forward to their final game where they hope to encourage a big crowd as the title is still to go for.
Squad: R. Allison (29/34) 85%, O. Beveridge (7/11 64%), G. Gray (3/6 50%), M. Dowell, B. Vaughan, S. Adams, M Iffil, J. Gabriel (Capt), R. Barrett, S. Perry,
Bench: G. Salter, S. Wainwright, B Warburton & Jo Lambert
Player of the Match: Jack Gabriel