Hucclecote Premier Vrs Oldham 22nd January 2012
Hucclecote Premier Team travelled to Oldham with a depleted squad having a number of players unavailable or ill. The squad was as follows: Lydia Hallbrook, Liv Beveridge, Kerry Walsh, Jack Gabriel, Michaela Iffil, Sam Cook, Sam Perry and Rosie Pretorious. Thanks must go to Michaela who had to re-arrange her day to step up to Prem.
After eventually sorting playing kit out, and a long trip up to Oldham, the team began the first quarter exceptionally well. Hucclecote took the game to Oldham showing great poise and control. Hallbrook at shooter was being marked by Super league defender Kerry Almond. The team played with patience, feeding Hallbrook who shot 8 from 10. Walsh showed control at WA and Perry controlled the GS allowing her to score just 6 goals. Hucclecote went into the second quarter leading 13-9. The lead could have been greater had they not made a few unforced errors.
In the second quarter the line-up had to be adjusted to cater for some minor injuries. Pretorious went to GK and Perry to GD. This quarter saw a fierce contest, with all positions fighting for supremacy. Gabriel kept a steady ship and combined well with Beveridge through the attacking end ensuring Hucclecote did not throw the ball away unnecessarily. Oldham were fielding a squad of 12 with at least 8 Super League players. Oldham played their centre passes well, with set plays that saw quick feeds into their shooters. Their GS converted 9 from 11 attempts. That said Hucclecote shooters only missed 4 goals in the quarter, with spoils equal at 11-11, Hucclecote finished the half 24-20 goals in the lead.
The third quarter saw Iffil come on as WA, Cook went back into GD and Walsh went into the WD position. Hucclecote using their one sub effectively, then saw Oldham making numerous changes where they replaced one lot of Super-League players with another, constant fresh legs were putting pressure on Hucclecote to maintain their standards. Oldham replacements included Karen Grieg former international and Super-League player at shooter and Emma Dovey Super –League & England player coming on as GK. Hucclecote battled on through the quarter; however the pressure was mounting and Grieg was shooting and moving effectively throughout the attacking third. Iffil played well, creating more space and being an option in the attacking end. Although Hucclecote battled, Oldham were able to pull back 4 goals which saw the score as 35-35 going into the final quarter.
Pretorius came back on as GK and Cook went back into the WD position. Hucclecote were still working exceptionally well, although it was becoming more obvious that fatigue was setting in. Constant Oldham pressure was being applied throughout and Grieg was shooting tremendously. Cook took 5 clean intercepts in the quarter which kept Hucclecote in with a shout, but a number of poor passes allowed Oldham to take the advantage. Grieg hit 15 from 16 attempts and the GA hit 2 from 2, making shooting stats
of 94% in the final quarter for Oldham. The constant pressure took its’ toll and Hucclecote ended up losing the match 52-46.
Although Hucclecote lost this match, they should take a lot of pride from the performance, Oldham had to use all their star players to win, it took an exceptional shooting performance from Grieg to seal the victory and Hucclecote worked tirelessly as a squad of 8. Hucclecote are now showing their strength as a squad, unfortunately it has taken half a season to get to this position. Hucclecote are in a good position now to fight in our remaining matches and salvage the season which the players are confident they will be able to do.
Hallbrook - 76% 32/42
Beveridge – 56% 14/25
Coaches Player of the Match – Lydia Hallbrook who played with strength and accuracy against two experienced Super League defenders.
Team Manager – Sue Wainwright
Coach – Carl Hallbrook