Hartlepool Oaksway Netball Club in much-needed 44-40 victory over Worcester Reds in the Mizuno Premier League.

Oaksway netball team (blue) v Worcester Reds (red) at Brierton Sports Centre, Hartlepool, on Sunday.
Oaksway netball team (blue) v Worcester Reds (red) at Brierton Sports Centre, Hartlepool, on Sunday.

Oaksway Netball Club head into the winter break with a much-needed victory over Worcester Reds in the Premier League.

Oaksway had urged fans to come along and support them for the vital home game at Brierton Sports Centre at the weekend.

And the supporters helped roar the girls home 44-40 in a hard-fought win that saw the team climb to seventh place in the league.

Coach Jill Foreman said: “We had a really big crowd come out to support us and they were fabulous.

“Worcester broguht a lot of supporters too so it made for a really great atmosphere and game.

“Bur our supporters were great and played a big part in helping us hang in a secure the win.”

The support was certainly needed as the visitors from the West Midlands came to compete and pushed Oaksway all the way.

“We started well,” said Jill. “We were eight points up by the end of the first quarter and found ourselves in a comfortable position.

“But they came back at us, they kept making changes on the court and targeting our players.

“It was nip and tuck for the rest of the game, it was very tough and they put up a very good fight.

“At the end of the day, we managed to tough it out and were delighted to win by four points.”

Jill was happy to welcome back familiar faces for the game and highlighted several who helped Oaksway to the victory.

“We had Leah Kennedy and Chiara Semple back from England duty and that certainly strengthened the team, Chiara was once again great up front.

“It was great to see Vicky Burgess return too. She has been out of action for a while now but she was back to her best.

“She put in a great half and she looked really fit and strong.

“Our player of the match was Natasha Hamphire, who put in a lot of work in the middle througout the match.

“But it was a great effort all round by all of the girls in the squad.”

The vital win saw Oaksway leapfrog their rivals in the Mizuno Premier League table.

“We definitely need that win,” added Jill.

“We’ve jumped over Worcester into fourth bottom on 20 points now, and that takes us out of the play-off zone at the foot of the table.

“That eases the persuure and leaves us in a better looking position as we head into the break over Chrsitmas and New Year.

“We return on January 8 with a long trip to Downs in Surrey but we can put out feep up over the festive period a little bit not worrying that we are down at the bottom of the league.

“It will be tough again in the new year though as the Team Northumbria season kicks in and we have a lot of players who will be involved in their games too.

“But we are realistic, we know where we are and the resources that we have.

“We have a good spirit in the squad and the club, so we will be looking up the table rather than below.”