Hartlepool Oaksway face vital Premier netball match with New Cambell after Hucclecote loss

ON THE BALL: Debbie Percy on the attack for Oaksway against Hucclecote at Brierton Sports Centre.
ON THE BALL: Debbie Percy on the attack for Oaksway against Hucclecote at Brierton Sports Centre.

OAKSWAY need to find their form – and fast.

The Hartlepool netball side are back in the relegation zone in England’s Premier League following a shock 41-38 defeat on Sunday.

Oaksway’s loss at Brierton Community Sports Centre and New Cambell’s huge home win over Team Bath Toucans saw the Londoners move above Barbara Brown’s team.

But the Poolie girls can change all that this Sunday when New Cambell come to town in a vital relegation confrontation.

Brown fears the tension of the fight against the drop got to her side on Sunday against Hucclecote.

And the boss together with coaches Vicky Burgess and Bev Linighan will this week be looking to “lift” the pressure on their young squad rather than add to it.

“Our squad is as young as it has probably ever been,” Brown told SportMail.

“I think the stress must have got to the against Hucclecote.

“In all honesty, we gifted them the game – they didn’t win it, we gave it away.

“They were more than beatable and we won the first three quarters by a couple of goals.

“But in the last quarter I think they came out and scored six goals without replay and it was a constant battle after that and we couldn’t pull it off.

“Hucclecote had nothing fancy – they were run by the girls at defence, centre and wing attack. They just plodded on and plodded on and we made too many errors.

“The defeat was hard to bear – we had a great crowd in and supported the girls all the way.

“But we have five games left and I’ll be reminding the girls of their talents before Sunday’s game.

“On paper, we may not be given much of a chance at Oldham, but of the other games the opposition are all beatable if the girls can turn it on.

“They can turn it on too and we’ll look for the to go out and perform as we know they can against New Cambell.”

Oaksway will be boosted by the return of Burgess this weekend after missing the defeat to Hucclecote.

Oaksway v Hucclecote: Leah Kenneddy, Sarah Panney, Sally Smith, Vicky Percy, Natasha Hamphire, Debbie Percy, Kayleigh Moss. Sub used: Claire Brown