Netball report: Hartlepool Oaksway 54 New Cambell 14

OAKSWAY will look to take a major stride towards netball safety this weekend by recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The Hartlepool side moved out of the Premier League relegation zone when they hammered New Cambell 54-14 at Brierton Community Sports Centre.

Oaksway’s landslide victory moved them above the Essex girls and gives them a great chance of retaining their league status with four matches to go.

And they can make further progress this Sunday by winning at bottom club Thoroughbreds.

The Norwich outfit have lost all 14 of their top flight matches, not that Oaksway head coach Barbara Brown will take anything for granted.

“It’s a game we have a good chance to win but we can’t be complacent,” Brown told SportMail.

“We beat them at home but does that automatically mean we’ll beat them at their place? Definitely not.

“Thoroughbreds have a big [goal] shooter – she didn’t play that well at Brierton but she’s a good player so we’ll have to be alert.

“We’re going to have to get at them straight away.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance [of staying up] thanks to Sunday’s win.”

One thing is for certain – this weekend’s match will be a lot tougher than the ‘contest’ against New Cambell.

Oaksway had it easy at Brierton, where New Cambell were made to pay for sending a weakened squad.

Their tally of 22 last month at Hucclecote was bad enough but their score in Hartlepool is reputed to be a record Premier League low.

Not that Brown and the Oaksway girls will have been complaining.

“It’s sometimes hard to play your best netball in circumstances like that,” said Brown.

“They had players I’ve known for a lot of years and they worked hard in defence and mid-court, but they struggled in attack.

“New Cambell were missing a few girls because it was a double weekend with Premier and Super League games.

“They wanted the match re-arranged but we stuck it out to play it on the set date, it’s their decision to use a lot of NSL players in their squad.

“The win lifted us up the table and lifted our spirits, whether it’s enough to push us on performance-wise I don’t know.

“We played some slick stuff in parts but there were times when we looked as though we were going through the motions but it’s tricky when the match is easy.”

Sub Sally Smith made an oustanding impact at sub, making countless interceptions, while there was a promising debut for new signing Alex Kirk in attack.

Oaksway: Leah Kennedy, Sarah Penny, Vicky Percy (Sally Smith), Natasha Hampshire (Claire Brown), Vicky Burgess (Rebecca Neill), Debbie Percy, Kayleigh Moss (Alex Kirk)