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Hartlepool Oaksway Netball Club call on their supporters to help make ‘Great Escape’ from relegation

Netball - Oaksway (lt blue) v Oldham (blue/red) at Brierton Sports Complex, Hartlepool.
Netball - Oaksway (lt blue) v Oldham (blue/red) at Brierton Sports Complex, Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Oaksway Netball Club are calling on their supporters to help them make the ‘Great Escape’ from relegation.

Oaksway currently sit bottom of the Mizuno Premier League, eight points from safety with only four games to go.

The Hartlepool club essentially have to win all their remaining games to stand a chance of survival, starting with the visit of relegation rivals and second-bottom club Team Bath Toucans this Sunday.

And team coach Jill Foreman is hoping Oaksway’s supporters can help cheer them on to victory at Brierton Sports Centre (start 12.30pm).

Jill said: “Our supporters can be our extra player and can make a big difference in our performance on the day.

“Brierton is a great place to play, when our supporters make their noise it really fills the hall and spurs the team on.

“We know the situation we are in, we need to win our games now and our home support can certainly help us out with that and give us momentum for these last games.”

The escape bid has been helped by the league who deducted Sunday’s opponents five points for failing to fulfil a fixture which has dropped them to five points and just one place above Oaksway in the table.

Jill said: “The league has certainly done us a favour by deducting Bath those points but we’ve still go to out and beat them on Sunday.

“With five points for a win and various bonus points we can pick up we are looking to catch them and maybe overtake them with a victory.

“We were deducted two points ourselves for fielding an ineligible player so with Bath now being deducted points there seems to be maybe a few more twists and turns before the season ends.”

Oaksway play three of their remaining four games at home which Jill says the club hope to take full advantage of in their bid for survival.

Jill added: “After this Bath game we play fourth placed Tameside back-to-back before we will have to wait a few weeks to play the re-arranged, and final, fixtures at home to Worcester Red who are third bottom.

“It may well all come down to that last game so to being playing it at home will be a huge bonus for us.

“Oaksway have been in the Premier League since it started almost 20 seasons ago, we’ve never been relegated and we are going to give everything to make sure we are not relegated this season.”

Although Oaksway may be waiting on tenterhooks a few weeks before their final game they will have their super league players available as there is a break in that league in April.

Jill said: “If it all comes down to the re-arranged final game we will at least have our super league players available for that match.

“The super league takes a break for a bit in April so that would be great to have a fully, full-strength squad to chose from. At full strength we are a match for any team.”