Hucclecote's game against Academy in London proved to be exactly as they thought, physically tough and challenging throughout. The first 5 minutes went in Academy's favour as they slowly edged ahead, although Rosie Allison's shooting helped to keep Hucclecote in contention. Meanwhile, Academys shooters, Vicklyn Joseph and Amanda Newton dominated initially and their defending unit certainly put Hucclecote under pressure with Hemmings and Beveridge finding it tough to get through for centre passes and 2nd phase ball. 3 goals down with 2 minutes remaining in the first period, Beveridge found some well executed feeds through to Allison and at the blow of the 15 minute period Hucclecote had levelled the score to 11 each.
The 2nd quarter saw Cook on at WD, and Anna Mayes to Centre moving Sophie Baxter to WA. Although this impacted initially, Hucclecote found it hard with the physicality and obstruction that Academy forced. The umpiring proved inconsistent throughout with Beveridge having a ball knocked out of her hands which was not picked up, and with several obstructions/contracts missed due to positioning by both umpires not allowing them to see these infringements.
With a 10 goal deficit in the 2nd half 14-24, Hucclecote re-shaped, and moved Cook to GA, Hemmings back on to the WA, Mayes remained at Centre, and Lee back on to WD. In addition, this quarter saw Captain Jacqueline Gabriel moved to GK switching with her unit defender Barrett. Hucclecote's confidence and rhythm certainly enabled them to penetrate hard and with some wonderful play through court, and Cook particularly opening up the shooting opportunities, Hucclecote clawed their way back to within 2 goals leaving the score at 28 -31
The final quarter saw Hucclecote and Academy going head to head all the way, and with Gabriel back on fire at GD and with Barrett picking up some key steals, Hucclecote managed to draw the game level. However it was not to be, and although Hucclecote had at least 4 or 5 opportunities to take the ball to goal, errors under pressure crept in from defence through to attack and they were never able to get the one goal lead and sustain it. Academy who are top of the league managed to hang on and take the victory by 38-39
The 2nd half saw a strong performance from the Hucclecote squad with Cook winning the player of the match. There is still more to go for as Academy has yet to face Oaksway who could prove tough contenders, leaving the final positions still up for grabs.
R Allison, O Beveridge, B Hemmings, S Baxter, S Lee, A Mayes, S Cook, J Gabriel (Capt),R Barrett
Thanks to Barb Warburton Team Manager and Sue Wainwright for their support.