OAKSWAY upset the odds to record a morale-boosting 46-37 victory over title-chasing Academy.
The win lifts the Hartlepool girls to sixth in the Premier 1 table and clear of relegation trouble.
It was the first time they’d appeared at Brierton Community Sports Centre since last year and the extended winter break had obviously worked wonders, Oaksway racing into a 17-goal lead during the second quarter.
But Academy boast several of the league’s best players and they duly came back at their hosts, narrowing the deficit to just five goals.
Oaksway, though, roared on by the home crowd, maintained their lead and held out to claim the much-need triumph.
Centre Jill Foreman told SportMail: “What a game!
“We started so well and by the end of the second quarter we had that 17-point lead – we couldn’t believe it.
“But even then we knew that might not be enough.
“They are a really strong side and it’s never easy.
“As we thought they came right back at us and they just started to eat away at the lead.
“We struggled a bit at times to be honest but managed to keep our lead at at least five the whole time
“It got to the last quarter and we managed to pull away a little bit again towards the end.
“We’re absolutely over the moon because this is a massive win for us.
“We were in a bit of trouble down near the bottom but this gives us a bit of breathing space and it’s a great start to the year – now we’ve got to kick on and keep that momentum going against Leeds on Sunday.”
FULL STORY IN TUESDAY’S MAIL ...