Hucclecote Netball U.14 Squad Earn Place at Regional Finals
Hucclecote young guns pulled out all the stops to earn a place in the South West Regional Finals to take place on the 21st April at Bath STV. This was despite a few set-backs earlier in the week which saw them lose two players from their squad due to serious ankle injuries.
The troops rallied on and alongside this, it didn’t stop the two injured players, Lily Lovell and Hannah Jordan, to still join in giving verbal and moral support at Regional Play Offs at Dorcan last Sunday where they needed to secure a top 4 position from 10 to get through to Regional Finals in April.
The first fixture against Bournemouth saw a few nerves unleashed and this showed a little in their first half performance. It didn’t take long though to get into full swing with Beth Adkins turning over 4 intercepts leading the team to a 17 – 11 victory. Hucclecote then took on Stroud Hornets and India Blake took the court at GS for the first time at this level and produced a very good 7/10 70% conversion rate. Alongside this, it was the defence end who stole the show as Captain Caitlin Santacroce turned 2 balls and 3 rebounds along with strong performances from Eve Saunders, Zi Wu and Jess Brown to deny Stroud the opportunity to score leaving Hucclecote with a 20-0 victory. Raychem from Swindon saw another fluent performance for Cote as they cruised through the 20 minutes winning 22 goals to 11. It was their final section game against Jersey that they desperately needed to win, and with Holly Tyler holding out strong against a physical opponent , and with Milly Boorman working tireslessly at WD Hucclecote led 7-3 at half time. It was the second half performance that saw Hucclecote hit a run of goals and a relief to all to see them take victory 13-8 to take them into the semi -final play offs.
Lawn who had pipped Team Bath at the post to get into the semi’s found Hucclecote a different level and struggled from the outset to gain advantage. With Lucy Martin creating space and showing great interaction with Jane Taylor , Martin netted 9/11 82% and with Beth Adkins playing stronger than ever, even though she winded badly by her opponent, Hucclecote’s delight showed when the final whistle saw them win 15 – 6 taking them through to meet Poole Diamonds.
Poole, who looked favourites to win, made it difficult for Hucclecote earlier on although the half time result didn’t reflect this as Hucclecote held them to within 3 goals. They then came out hard and fast and stormed the second half winning the game by 20 goals to 5 overall taking the title and the top spot on the day.
Hucclecote took the runner up medals and were delighted to have made it through to Regional Finals, which will see 8 teams contest for just two spaces to go to Engalnd Netball National Finals in May. Hucclecote Coach Gilly Salter is confident they will do this. Top side Exeter who won the South end Tournament on Sunday are a team that Hucclecote have already beaten during their recent Jersey, and whilst Salter knows there is some work still to be done with her youngsters, she believes they have the ability to get to this prestigious event.
Thanks to the amazing support from Hucclecote’s parents, committee members, volunteers and finally to Karen Trueman, the Hucclecote Umpire for giving up Mothers Day to come and umpire.
Squad:- Lucy Martin, India Blake, Jane Taylor ,Holly Tyler ,Milly Boorman ,Jessica Brown , Bethany Adkins ,Caitlin Santacroce ,Eve Saunders ,Zi Wu, Injured Players: Lily Lovell, Hannah Jordan.