Saturday 3rd December saw Paulton A take on forth place premiere division holders Hovelands. The team took to the court knowing that they had a tough match ahead of them after losing against them twice last season in heavy defeats. However from the first whistle Paulton surprised themselves, overturning Hovelands’ first centre pass to score off the back of it and to then score from their own centre. This incredible start then set the tone for the first quarter with Paulton fighting hard for every ball. Dynamic movement from Debbie at C and Hayley at WA ensured that Cheryl and Davina could play the ball in the circle with ease until they took their moment to shoot. Fantastic shooting from Cheryl at speed ensured that the team stayed ahead of Hovelands who were still finding their feet, struggling to feed the end third with Vanessa at WD and Victoria at GD marking the space well. The first quarter finished 14 – 12 to Paulton.
The second quarter started equally well for Paulton with Charlotte making valuable interceptions from Hovelands tall GS with Victoria and Vanessa then working the ball across court. Great use of channels and timing from Debbie ensured that the team maintained possession and control of the ball. However, Hovelands fought back tightening their defence on Davina and Cheryl pushing them to shoot further out, this did not deter Davina who chased down every rebound and loose ball, standing up to the experienced defence. Hovelands did however manage to level in the quarter through accurate passing into their GS finishing 26 – 26.
After a positive team talk at half time and a squad rotation of Laura swapping with Vanessa at WD the team took to the court knowing that they needed to remain focused for 15minutes. The quarter started well again with Debbie and Victoria limiting the centre passes to the GA to overturn the ball a number of times. Laura’s fresh legs also injected new energy into the game with the team picking up the tempo leaving Hovelands standing. With confidence on a high Cheryl and Davina took advantage of some great feeding into the circle from Hayley, linking up well together to push Paulton into the lead. Victoria and Charlotte also introduced some new defensive tactics pressuring the attack to miss feed the circle, allowing Paulton to capitalise on set plays down the court to finish in front 39 – 34.
The final quarter tested Paulton’s concentration and confidence levels as Hovelands began to fight back with accurate shooting ensuring that the team kept the pressure on Paulton. However as the match drew to an end Paulton’s movement across court and accurate feeding returned, allowing the girls to remain in control. With everyone fighting hard and intercepting the ball well the team were able to run the clock down winning 50 – 48. An almighty win for the team and the Club.
The team would like to thank all of their supporters for cheering them on and to Jane for umpiring.
Player of the match as voted by Hovelands was Cheryl.