Oaksway secure first victory of the season

Toetsie Kambatuku fired Oaksway to an exciting Premier Division One victory at Leeds Athletic.
Toetsie Kambatuku fired Oaksway to an exciting Premier Division One victory at Leeds Athletic.

Oaksway picked up their first victory of the season in Premier League 1 after a nail-biting 53-55 triumph away at Leeds Athletic.

After racing into an 11-point lead at half-time, some changes during the interval saw Oaksway pegged back in the final quarter.

Following a tense finish, the visitors were able to hang on and claim a victory which lifts them to seventh in the table.

Speaking to SportsMail, coach Jill Foreman said: “We were over the moon to pick up our first win.

“The girls have had three away games in a row, the first two of which were in London, so it’s been a chaotic start for them.

“Coming away with the win from Leeds was a great reward for the hard work they’ve put in so far.”

Having lost their first two games of the campaign the Hartlepool side began brightly at The Blue Hall, holding a seven point lead at the end of the first quarter.

This lead was added to in the second quarter, with Oaksway’s impressive attacking flow seeing them add a further four points to their lead.

Substitutions for both sides at half-time proved to be something of a turning point, with Leeds a far tougher opponent after the break.

Despite Athletic’s improved performance, they were unable to claw any points back during the third quarter.

They did, however, claw plenty back during the final period with Oaksway guilty of defensive mistakes which gifted their hosts some vital points, reducing the lead to only two points.

A tense finale was in prospect, but Oaksway were able to hold onto their slender advantage to claim their first win of the 2015/16 season, which greatly pleased Foreman: “It was an ugly win, but it was win.

“We were disappointed with the final quarter and that we couldn’t cope with Leeds coming back at us, but overall we’re delighted.”

“Our aim was to get as much out of these first four away games as possible,” she added, “We know people don’t like coming to the North East so we can put in good performances at home.

Next up for Oaksway is a trip to Southampton to face Viper10 Blades in a fortnight’s time, with Foreman keen to oversee another victory: “We’ll look to build on what we did against Leeds in our two training sessions before the trip to Southampton.

“They’re second bottom in the league and one place below us so it’s a game we want to win.”

Oakway’s Player of the Match was named as shooter Toetsie Kimbatuku who was in phenomenal form in attack.

Oaksway Squad: Leah Kennedy, Nicole Styles, Natalie Connor, Rachel Saville, Sally Smith, Jayden Robinson, Natasha Hampshire, Rebecca Neil, Vicky Burgess, Toetsie Kimbatuku, Rachel Dauber, Lisa Bowman