Netball: Hartlepool Oaksway 46 Leeds Athletic 38

Rebecca Neil in action for Oaksway
Rebecca Neil in action for Oaksway

Oaksway have continued their stunning run of form by extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six matches.

The Hartlepool side shook off a patchy performance to pull clear and defeat Leeds Athletic 46-38 at Brierton Community Sports Centre.

The youngsters are our future, but they need to play in Premier League One to get the experience


It completed the double for Jill Foreman and Natalie Connor’s side who are now fourth in the table and just a point behind third-placed Downs.

Now, Oaksway are relishing another home contest this Sunday against Viper 10 Blades (start 12.30pm).

The Poolies squeezed through by two goals on the south coast earlier in the season and are chasing another double.

“It was a really good game down there,” said Foreman. “This one should be too and we’re looking forward to Sunday.

“We’d love to see more people come along and watch us.

“If you’ve never been before, come along and give us a try.”

Foreman says Oaksway are thrilled by how the season has gone – especially given they lost their opening two matches of the programme.

They have been beaten only once of their last nine games and have banished the memories of last season when they had to go through the play-offs to avoid relegation.

“We don’t want to go back there and don’t think we will,” said Foreman.

“We’ve always played in the top flight and we’re proud of that.

“But we are looking to get some of our youth on court this Sunday and for the rest of the season.

“We’ve been in a bit of transition with a number of senior players no longer playing.

“It’s a bit of a balancing act for us – yes we’re trying to finish in as high a position as we can, but we’re also trying to get our young talent on court.

“The youngsters are our future, but they need to play in Premier League One to get the experience.”

One of the club’s gifted young aces, Ellen Hirst, was one of the star performers in the win over Leeds.

Playing in goal attack, supporting Toetsie Kambatuku up front, the teenager helped Oaksway overcome an indifferent first-half display to pull clear of Leeds.

Oaksway trailed by one goal at the end of the first quarter and then by three at the mid-point.

But they found their rhythm in the third quarter, pulling off a number of turn-overs with Tuainie Keenan particularly effective, with Hirst and Kambatuku doing the business in the shooting circle.

“Ellen was superb,” added Foreman. “She continues to amaze us.”

Oaksway stayed in charge in the final quarter to win 46-38.

Oaksway: Tuainie Keenan, Leah Kennedy, Nicole Styles, Iman Thomas, Emily Hollingsworth, Natasha Hampshire, Jaydene Robinson, Rebecca Neil, Lucy Johnson, Natalie Connor, Ellen Hirst, Toetsie Kambatuku