Team Jets’ promotion dreams crumble in UK
TEAM JETS head coach Linda Andrews admits an immediate return to Premier League netball is now highly unlikely as the Island side come to terms with another Regional League loss.
Jets – realistically in need of a 100% record this side of Christmas to have any hope of catching leaders Aquarians – suffered their third defeat of the campaign on Sunday, leaving them in need of a miracle if they are to bounce back onto the national pyramid next term.
Hucclecote Stars closed the gap on second-placed Jets with a 55-50 victory over their visitors – dampening the mood after the Caesareans had eased past Almondsbury on Saturday.
Jacy Brown was named player of the match in a 72-45 triumph that initially closed the gap at the top to just two points, but unbeaten Aquarians then benefitted from another slip and now stand seven clear with a game in hand.
Only the league winners will progress to the Premier League promotion play-offs.
‘It [promotion] is probably not going to happen now,’ Andrews explained. ‘But that is not a bad thing because it means, with the squad we’ve got at the moment, that we’ll have another year in the Regional leagues to carry on learning and growing and getting better.
‘Until you have a settled squad with girls who know our principles and who have known each other for a while, it’s difficult. We just need to keep on giving people the experience.
‘We haven’t had a consistent squad this season but seeing them play on Saturday and last week – their game has improved so much.
‘New people coming in bring different qualities, which gives us more diversity. We’ll just keep plugging away and see what we can do for the future.’
Having completed the job they set out to do against Almondsbury Jets were caught out a day later, with Hucclecote forging an early five-goal lead that would prove decisive. Form 15-10 down Jets did reply, but only by the odd goal in the following quarters. A five-goal run did help matters as the final whistle approached, taking them to within three of the lead, but luck deserted them.
‘Hucclecote seems to have the edge on us,’ Andrews said. ‘And then there was one massive umpiring error when they missed the shooter leaning on the post with the ball. Then we lost the centre pass, missed a goal and that was the end of the game.
‘It was well contested all the way through, though, and our girls did well to keep with them because Hucclecote are a good team.'
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