Oaksway’s battle against relegation is hanging in the balance after a narrow defeat at the weekend.
The Hartlepool club remain bottom of the Mizuno Premier League on 25 points after the 58-49 loss to fourth placed Tameside.
With the bottom two going down, Oaksway are eight points adrift of Team Bath Toucans on 33 points with just two games, both at home, to play.
Team Bath Toucans lost 54-59 at home to relegation rivals Worcester Reds who went above them in the table.
With five points for a win, Oaksway can still pull off a great escape, but with teams able to pick up a point for a half score in defeat, other results will have to go their way.
Coach Jill Foreman said: “We knew it was going to be difficult at Tameside as they are a very good side.
“In the end, it was a narrow defeat but we cannot fault the team for the effort they put in, again with a side that had a lot of our younger players involved.
“We were down 16-9 after the first quarter but rallied and got it back to 28-26 after the second quarter.
“However, in the third quarter they pulled away and made it 48-37.
“Although we actually out-scored them in the final quarter, in the end, we just couldn’t do enough to catch them.”
Oaksway now have a return home game with Tameside on Sunday April 8, before their final game at home to relegation rivals Worcester Reds the following Sunday.
Jill added: “We have these two games at home now. We’ve got to take on Tameside again, we’ve got to win that game and see how the other results go.
“If we lose then we are down. But while it is still possible for us to stay up we will be giving it our all to do that.
“It may well still all come down to that last game against Worcester Reds who are down there with us, so playing it at home will be a big bonus for us.
“We’ve never been relegated and we are going to give everything to make sure we are not this season.”