OAKSWAY maintained their title charge with a 45-36 victory over Linden.
Sunday’s match was the first of three in a row at Brierton Community Sports Centre for the Hartlepool girls.
And victory in those games, against Leyton and league leaders Hucclecote, could move Oaksway to within touching distance of top spot in the National Premier Division.
That is why centre Jill Foreman says Sunday’s win was so important.
“It was a game we needed to get five points from because it keeps us up there in the hunt for the title,” she told SportMail.
“It was never our target at the start of the season to go for the title but now we’re in this position we’ll be giving it our best shot.”
Indeed, Oaksway are 11 points adrift of table toppers Hucclecote but still have two games in hand over the team from Gloucestershire.
And Foreman added: “We lost a couple of games to the weather before Christmas and we need to win those if we’re to stand any chance of winning the league.
“It helps we’ve still got the top teams to play but we had to win on Sunday to keep the pressure up.”
Visitors Linden weren’t an easy push over for Foreman and co, however, and she says it was a testing afternoon, as the scoreline suggests.
“It was never really comfortable,” she said, “We were made to fight from start to finish.
“But we managed to give quite a few players some court time including a few of the younger girls who did excellently.”
Oaksway’s teenage goal-attack Olivia Mason, who has been with the club since she was eight years old, helped herself to a large score along with Emma Lower.
There was also the chance for Kathy Spears, back from a knee injury, to enjoy an impressive second-half return to action.