OAKSWAY may have suffered defeat in their opening game of the season, but there were was plenty of reason for optimism for the new-look team.
The Hartlepool girls were forced to draw up a new battle plan in the wake of Emma Lower’s departure at the end of the last campaign, their towering goal-shooter having previously been the focal point of their game.
But now, after hours of court time during the summer, Oaksway have arrived at a faster, more dynamic approach.
And that new style was in evidence against champions Oldham on Sunday.
The curtain-raiser, however, was to end in a narrow 62-58 reverse.
But centre Jill Foreman told SportMail that the performance threw up any number of positives.
“We’ve had to change our system after losing our tall shooter,” she explained.
“We’ve practised really hard over the summer and we’re now playing a much faster style of game.
“We were up against the champions on Sunday, so it was always going to be tough, but we pushed them all of the way.
“Our coach (Barbara Brown) was really pleased with our performance and so were all of us.
“We were within one or two points of them all the way through until the final quarter when they pulled four clear.
“But to finish within five points means we get an extra point.
“It gives us so much confidence in ourselves and our new system going forward now.”
SEE Tuesday’s Mail for full story and picture from the club’s presentation night at the Borough Hall