Oaksway power to convincing win

Oaksway take on Hucclecote
Oaksway take on Hucclecote

Oaksway can cement their place in the top half of netball’s Premier League with victory at Turnford in Sunday’s mid-table confrontation.

The Hartlepool side moved up to fifth with a comprehensive home victory over Hucclecote at Brierton Community Sports Centre.

We won every quarter and took victory by a massive margin.

If you were being hyper-critical, you could argue that Oakway should have won by a greater margin.

They passed up several opportunities for more goals and probably allowed Hucclecote more chances than perhaps they should have had.

But the landslide win has put Natalie Connor and Jill Foreman’s side in great heart for the trip to Wodson Park Sports Centre.

Turnford are in sixth in the standings, also on 18 points, so an away victory in Hertfordshire would give Oaksway a massive boost.

Head coach Barbara Brown told SportMail: “Without doubt, we could have won by even more, and probably let them in for a few more goals than they possibly deserved to get.

“But we won every quarter and took victory by a massive margin.

“We should go to Turnford confident and there is no reason why we can’t come back with the win.

“It won’t be easy.

“Like us, Turnford have some good, young players and they are doing well.

“They have a lovely goal-shooter in Georgia Fisher, who is an England Under 21 player knocking on the door for senior honours.

“Turnford are proper battlers too so we’ll have to play well, but we can go there and win.

“If we can do that it will set us up nicely for a home match against the Downs who are just one place above us in the table.”

Oaksway dominated from the start against a physical but outclassed Hucclecote.

With a potent attack of Northern Ireland international Lisa Bowman and Toetsie Kambatuku, Hartlepool scored heavily.

With the side dominant, coaches Connor and Foreman were able to introduce new signings Iman Thomas and Kiwi prospect Toani Keenan from the subs bench, while Connor had a cameo herself at goal attack.

Thomas, a Loughborough Lightning player in the Women’s Super League, has signed for Oaksway after going to study at the University of Northumbria.

And Keenan is the daughter of Team Northumbria’s coach, TeAroha.

Thomas had an outstanding game at wing defence as did fellows WD player Jaydene Robinson, though the player of the match award went to the impressive centre Natasha Hampshire.

Oaksway: Leah Kennedy, Nicola Stiles, Jaydene Robinson, Natasha Hampshire, Rebecca Neil, Toetsie Kambatuku, Lisa Bowman. Subs used: Iman Thomas, Toani Keenan, Natalie Connor