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Hucclecote U.16 Dragons netball squad stepped up at last weekend’s U.16 National Club Finals competition and went on to secure the 6th place in England.

This is only the second time in the club’s history that they have achieved 6th place at this age group and are very proud of all involved. The draw was incredibly tough, seeing them meet last year’s finalists Oldham in their first round.  This match had spectators on their seats as the score stood at 11 all at half time with Dragons producing some great netball. However, Oldham’s experience and the changes they made at half time made an impact and they went on to win by 13 goals.  Hucclecote stepped it up in their next three matches not letting the defeat get them down, and went on to win against Lincoln, Barr Beacon and Telstar’s. This secured them the opportunity to go for the top spot on Sunday.  All the squad took to the court.

Their first match on Sunday was against Charnwood Rutland, a team who came 3rd the previous season. The match proved exciting with just 2 goals between them at quarter time and 4 at half time and could have gone either way. Charnwood’s shooter proved to be their key player missing only one attempt in the game.

Hucclecote’s final game in this section saw them meet Eagles, another top 4 team from the previous year.  Hucclecote started well and found themselves just one goal down at quarter time, however the tide turned as Eagles pressed hard defensively against the Dragons. At 7-11 down Eagles sniffed victory in the air and went on to produce some outstanding play taking a well-deserved win and a slot in the final.

Hucclecote’s final play off game for 5/6th place saw them meet MK Dons, and to start with Hucclecote played some of their best netball of the tournament, playing with confidence and taking care of the ball to give them an early lead 7-6.  The second quarter saw some ping pong netball and with errors creeping into their game and missed chances to convert, MK Dons took the lead 12-11. Dragons and MK Dons both made changes in their attack and shooting circles however the added pressure saw Dragons unsettled and at ¾ time they found themselves 5 goals down.  One final combination saw Hucclecote challenge back and produce some strong attacking moves, however it proved too late and Hucclecote had to settle for 6th place losing by just 7 goals.

Hucclecote would like to thank this season sponsors HSS Training Ltd, Alpha Dragon Cement and G S Consultancy who have supported throughout the season and for this event. Also to GCNA and NSW for their on-going support.

Hucclecote U.16 awards were also presented during the weekend to the following players:-

Player of the Season & Player of the Tournament       Hannah Howl

Shooter of the Season                                                 Issy Eaton

Most Improved Player                                                  Freya Coull

Coaches Players                                                          Katie Pauling and Mia Mathewson

Players Player                                                              Emily Seymour-Perry

Squad: H. Howl Captain, I. Eaton, G. Thorp, S. Winfield, K. Pauling, M. Mathewson, N. Baird, N. Englefield, E. Seymour-Perry, S. Jinks, F. Coull, E. Gabriel (Vice)

Hucclecote Dragons should be proud of their achievement, where they played against, the winners, runners-up, 3rd and 5th placed team and showed much courage and support throughout.

Thanks, must also go to the volunteer supporters, Wendy Burgess (Assistant Coach), Sue Wainwright (Chair), and Liz Banyard (Scorer) and Becky Howl (Team Co-ordinator) and to all the amazing parents/carers who have given so much of their time to support the squad.

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a photo, to Laura Woodruff (laura.woodruff@englandnetball.co.uk)