Oaksway v Hucclecote proved to be an exciting game and one where the result was not secured until the last 3 minutes of play.  Sadly for Hucclecote it went in Oaksway’s favour although their display on court today was by far one of their best performances.  A new look line up saw Olivia Beveridge, Gemma Gray, Laura Smith, Sam Cook, Jack Gabriel , Sammi Perry and Rosalie Pretorious take the starting 7 bibs.

 

Both squads have been struggling to find their previous form from last year and today’s match saw both teams pull out all the stops.  The first quarter saw Gemma Gray hit 5 from 7 with some great penetrating drives and with Laura Smith driving strongly onto the circle edge, goals went with centre pass.  Sam Cook ‘s influence through mid court also helped, and with the back three working  hard,  the first quarter saw Hucclecote get off the blocks in style.  However, their early lead diminished as Oaksway , known for their toughness and tenacity on court came back to leave the scores at 6 each.

 

Cote’s only changes saw Cook moved back to WD switching bibs with Gabriel who in return took the Centre bib for the first time at Premier level and Beveridge switched with Gray to GA and GS respectively.  The back trio began to pressure well, with Pretorious and Perry causing disruption in the Oaksway circle.  Cook also impacted taking 3 clear interceptions from the experienced Vicky Burgess.  With Beveridge on song in this quarter nailing 7 from 8 attempts, and Gray scoring 4/4  Hucclecote managed to keep a one goal lead 17-16 at the half time whistle.

 

Hucclecote ‘s performance  began to lift and with Gabriel taking real control at Centre, and driving through court, Hucclecote edged ahead .  Beveridge and Gray switched once more and during this period  had their most attempts at goal, although conversion rates dropped off due to continually being contacted and obstructed which was not always picked up.   Without warning Cook had to call time due to a back injury and had to leave the court.  This enabled youngster Lauren Brooks to make her debut for the first time this season.  Brooks worked hard during her time on court and during this period forced the opposition in to two errors enabling Hucclecote to take the possession from this pressure on the pass.  Laura Smith also upped her game and demonstrated some great one two’s as well as taking a clear interception. With Hucclecote on a high, they ended the third period 2 goals up 25-23.

 

Hucclecote took to the court positively for the final quarter but a few early missed shots put Oaksway back in to the challenge bringing the score to a draw.  Hucclecote still dug deep and with outstanding defence and with Gabriel and Smith determined to get the ball to goal,  Hucclecote did produce some good chances.  Laura Smith and Lauren Brooks both took two outstanding interceptions to keep Cote in with a chance however it was Oaksway who netted more shots which saw them creep into a one goal lead.  With one more centre pass in their favour, which they scored from , and on opportune moment, Oaksway went on to take the game by just 3 goals 33 – 30.

 

Whilst disappointing to lose, this was a great effort on Hucclecote’s part with some wonderful through court play demonstrated throughout.  If they can continue to play at this level in this way, Hucclecote will easily turn around a few of the losses when they meet again in the second half of the season.  Player of the match was awarded jointly to Rosie Pretorious and Laura Smith.

 

Thanks to all the supporters both on and off the bench and scorers on the day.

 

joint player of the match for strong performances through out go to Laura Smith and Rosie Pretorious


Squad:  O Beveridge, G Gray,  L Smith, S Cook, L Brooks, J Gabriel, S Perry, R Pretorious, L Hallbrook, Kerry Walsh

Shooting: 

Hucclecote:- O Beveridge 14/22  64%  G Gray 16/25 64%  Overall 30/47  64%

Oaksway : -  GS  20/24 83%  GA (1st Half)  3/7  42%  GA (2nd half) 10/15  66%  Overall 33/46 72%