Hucclecote Premier vrs Blades
Hucclecote took to the court determined to try and reverse the win against Bournemouth Blades who earlier in the season had beaten them convincingly by 20 goals. The line up included Lydia Hallbrook, Gemma Gray, Neala Brennan, Kerry Walsh, Laura Smith, Jack Gabriel (Capt) and Sam Perry (Vice Captain).
Hucclecote were without key players, Sam Cook due to sustaining an injury in a previous match, and Rosie Pretorious who sadly looks likely to be out longer term with shin issues and with half term commitments had no Olivia Beveridge. Squad members also included youngsters Hannah Jeavons, Flo Edwards, Lauren Brooks, and Sophie Masterton .
Hucclecote’s opening play proved encouraging with Hallbrook netting 7 from 7 with Gabriel and Perry at the Back turning 6 possesions in this quarter. Although play looked pretty even, it was Hucclecote’ unforced error rate that allowed Blades to take a 2 goal lead 8-10 in the first quarter.
Gabriel , Perry and Smith worked relentlessly putting Blades under pressure and gained huge benefit by turning a further 7 posessions from the back and forcing Blades into missed shot situations. Lauren Brooks who had taken the Centre bib stepped up to the challenge and the links began to pay off. At one stage, with the attack working hard to get the ball to their shooters, Hucclecote took a 3 goal advantage . However, Blades came back at Cote and put immense pressure in and around the circle and the early lead Hucclecote had built up soon disappeared with Blades maintaining a one goal lead 17-18 at half time.
Flo Edwards made her debut at GS whilst Smith was moved to WA and Walsh back to WD and Walsh certainly pressured tightly and stole two balls. With great support through court from Gabriel and Brooks who stepped up to the mark producing a great display, penetrating through to the end third still proved difficult and Blades managed to restrict Hucclecote’s attempts and drives through court. Cote were forced into making 7 errors during this 15 minute period . Blades by comparison began to capitalise on this and by ¾ quarter time had a 26-23 goal lead.
With the game so closely contested, Hucclecote took to court in determined style for the final 15 minutes bringing Hallbrook back on to GS, Brennan back to WA and moving Smith back to WD. Perry produced an outstanding quarter stealing 4 clean intercepts during this period of play, and with her old team mate Gabriel also stealing 2 balls, Cote did have ample opportunity to finish it off . With the pressure to win, and play-offs clearly in their minds, Hucclecote just couldn’t take the advantage through to goal. It was a valiant effort but not enough to take victory and their final loss by 5 goals (37-32) means they will need to continue to fight hard and stay united if they are to avoid the play offs.
Player of the Match :- Sam Perry Coaches: Gilly Salter and Carl Hallbrook. Team Manager. Sue Wainwright. Scoreres. Barb Warburton and Lesley Thomas.