A determined performance today saw Hucclecote take a fantastic victory by 57 goals to 43 against Thorobreds from Norfolk.
With their homework done, ‘Cote’ knew they would have to defend hard to stop the talented Thorobreds attack which included a 6’4” Shooter, Helen Lincoln (ex England Coach at GA) and Lucy Cadge, ex England junior player. And this they did well by disrupting Thorobreds flow in attack and keeping the pressure on throughout the whole of the court. With Gemma Gray in awesome form, netting 9/9 in the first quarter, and with Brennan placing some precision feeds, Hucclecote took a confident lead 16-10.
Captain, Jack Gabriel in her new found position at centre linked the defending end through to attack perfectly, and with her defending skills in motion notched up 3 intercepts herself in the first half. Beveridges movement in the circle combined with Gray’s speed and drives into the D saw Gray on fire again where she netted further 10/12 shots. Thorobreds however had no intention of easing off the gas and they came back hard during a 5 minute period of play and closed the gap to 4. Pretorious and Perry at the back lifted the bar and between them took 4 possessions and forced the GS into long range shots where she missed 3 attempts during this phase of play. Cote found their stride once again and at half time had a 30-22 goal lead extending it to 8 goals from 6.
Coach Gilly Salter opened up the opportunity to bring on youngster Hannah Jeavons at GS replacing Beveridge, and brought on Laura Smith to WA. A final switch saw Cook move to Centre and Gabriel back to WD. This unsettled the line up initially and Cote found it difficult to penetrate through to the shooting circle. This once again allowed Thorobreds back into the Game and the gap began to close. A surge in the second half of this 3rd quarter saw Hucclecote back on track, and with Gray netting 80% in this quarter scoring 8/10 and Jeavons 2/3 attempts and demonstrating some quick movement and 1’2s with Gray , Hucclecote ended the period 40-32 goals up maintaining their 8 goal lead.
The final quarter saw Lydia Hallbrook on to the GS position, and the original mid court line up revert to the starting positions with Brennan at WA, Gabriel at C and Cook at WD. From the whistle Hucclecote demonstrated a great sense of purpose and moved the ball easily through attack finding Lydia Hallbrook with ease who turned, shot and scored the first 10 attempts in a row leaving the Thorobreds defence at a loss of what to do. Brennan and Gabriel worked well in the attacking end and with some great placed feeds, and both also turned clean intercepts along with Cook at WD. Hucclecote’s 8 goal lead extended further and further ahead with Hallbrook having a fantastic quarter. With Sam Perry and Rosie Pretorious working brilliantly as a unit, the restrictions on the Thorobreds attack and shooting circle showed as they were only allowed to put up 12 attempts. By comparison Hallbrook put up an amazing 12/13 shots, and Gray 5/7 . When the final whistle blew Hucclecote had taken a fine victory by 57 goals to 43, and demonstrated just what they are really capable of. Gray earned herself Player of the Game with a very confident performance and an 84% conversion rate.
Thanks to all the bench support, and the home crowd for their encouraging vocal support and to Barb Warburton for scoring and Lesley Thomas for scoring support. The victory was long in coming but was definitely down to self belief and a very determined effort.
O. Beveridge 11/21 52% G Gray 32/38 84% H. Jeavons 2/3 66% L. Hallbrook 12/13 92%
Squad:- O. Beveridge, G. Gray, H. Jeavons, L. Hallbrook, N.Brennan, L. Smith, J. Gabriel (Capt), S. Cook, K. Walsh, L. Brooks¸ S Perry, R. Pretorious (Vice)
Coaching Bench: Coach, Gilly Salter, Assistant Coach, Carl Hallbrook, Team Manager, Sue Wainwright, Physio Jo Lambert.