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Hartlepool Oaksway netball club youngsters to take part in National U16 Championships this weekend in Nottingham.

Premier netball between Oaksway (blue) and Worcester Reds, played at Brierton Sports Cente, Hartlepool.
Premier netball between Oaksway (blue) and Worcester Reds, played at Brierton Sports Cente, Hartlepool.

Oaksway netball club may have a suffered relegation this season but they are determined to bounce back with their emerging, young generation of players.

The Hartlepool Club dropped out of the Mizuno Premier League after almost 20 season in the top flight and will be play in Premier League 2 next term.

But coaches hope to make their mark on the league by introducing their up and coming young ‘Oaks’ into the first team.

The club’s under 16 team get to display their talents when they take part in the National U16 Championships this weekend in Nottingham.

Club coach Jill Foreman said: “The team has come through together over the last couple of years under club coach Bev Linighan

“In these championships in previous years, competing in the U14 and U15 age groups, they had top ten finishes.

“This year, in the U16s, we are hoping to a top six finish.

“We have a great group of girls. Ella Bowen plays for England U17 and Alice Currie plays for team Northumbria in the National Super League.

“We’ve also got great players like Rachael White, Maddie Ryder and Millie Tinkler.”

Oaksway qualified from the North East regional group to take their place in the 18-team strong event which will pit them against top opposition from across the country.

Jill said: “There are 18 teams taking part which are the top two teams from each regional qualifying rounds. Oaksway qualified along with Grangetown from the North East.

“There will be strong competition from the North West teams with the likes of Oldham and Bury and the London teams always through up a surprise.

“It’s a but of a tough schedule playing four games on the Saturday and then three on the Sunday, and then playing off for the final positron.

“But the girls are really looking forward to it and really want to do well.”

Oaksway senior team played their final game of the Premier League season, going down 31-29 to Worcester Reds in front of their home supporters at Brierton Sports Centre.

Jill added: “We are disappointed to be relegated but we found it hard to compete on a consistent basis this season. But we will stay positive and look to rebuild and come back.

“Premier League 2 will not be easy and we have a lot of travelling to do, including a game in Jersey, but we will be looking forward to the challenge”