Hucclecote squad – Beveridge, Gray, Brennan, Smith, Ifil, Gabriel, Perry and Brookes.
Hucclecote travelled away to Academy who are the current Premier League leaders. Academy boasted a number of full International and Super-league players and Hucclecote knew that it would be a tough game from the start.
Academy played with intensity throughout the game, defending and attacking every inch of the court. Hucclecote played with some heart early on and Ifil played well on her first game back from injury taking a number of important tips and intercepts. With a tough defence including Sonia Mkloma, Academy continued to put pressure onto our shooters who found it difficult to make any real headway.
Brookes came on in the second quarter and again did well keeping her error rate low and putting pressure onto the academy WA. Although Gabriel and Perry worked tirelessly throughout, the Academy shooters held their position well in the circle and shot with confidence. Academy had good shooting percentages throughout and Hucclecote were unable to make any in roads into the Academy lead.
Academy were able to extend their lead in each quarter and even after Hucclecote made changes they were unable to stop the opposition players who played with a physicality that the Hucclecote team were unable to contest with. It could be argued that Academy circle defence played to the very limit of the rules, which put additional pressure onto our shooters, irrespective of this Academy ran out deserved winners and leave Hucclecote with a number of areas to work on.
At times Hucclecote did play some attractive and controlled netball; however this did not occur often enough and the team needed to demonstrate more patience in attack.
Joint players of the match for Hucclecote were Sam Perry and Michaela Ifil.
Coach Carl Hallbrook
Team Manager Sue Wainwright