PREMIER LEAGUE NETBALL REPORT: Team Bath Toucans 55 Hartlepool Oaksway 56

PLAYER OF MATCH: Toetsie Kambatuku
PLAYER OF MATCH: Toetsie Kambatuku

NEVER write off Poolies. Ever.

Oaksway are out of the Premier League drop zone following a dramatic last-gasp 56-55 win at Team Bath Toucans.

Just four seconds remained when Toetsie Kambatuku showed nerves of steel to net the winner to send the Hartlepool squad into ecstasy.

It completed an incredible comeback for Barbara Brown’s side who were 14 goals down at half-time.

Player-coach Jill Foreman said: “It was an unbelievable win – absolutely crazy.

“We had started badly – we were really flat and there was no flow to our play.

“But we changed things around a bit at half-time and we were a different team.

“At the end of the third quarter the gap was down to two and the last session was end to end.

“We said ‘we have the momentum, just keep playing like we are and we can win it’.

“We did but did it with just seconds left.”

The Hartlepool club were tipped for a year of struggle after losing much of their squad over the summer.

Oaksway though have shown resilience and talent, collecting the second success on the road.

The result has moved Oaksway up to seventh and they are now just two points behind Leeds Athletic in fourth.

Oaksway are on their travels again this Sunday, with a trip to in-form New Cambell.

The Dagenham girls have reeled off three wins on the spin to move them up to third place.

“We’ve moved up and now we’ll try to keep this going,” said Foreman. “It’s a hard game but we’re looking forward to it.”

To say Oaksway began slowly at Bath would be an understatement.

Bath, playing with great energy, took full advantage, zipping the ball around the court for a six-goal lead at the end of the opening quarter.

The second part of the match was no better for the Poolies as Bath extended their advantage to 14. There looked no way back.

But Oaksway made changes with Rebecca Neil going in at wing defence and producing an amazing performance, while Leah Kennedy and Danielle Smith swapped roles at the back.

With Ellen Hirst firing at goal attack, Oaksway were a team transformed.

So too were Bath who lost their rhythm after switching their playmaker from the centre to wing attack while they also changed their goalshooter.

Oaksway hit form pulled 12 goals back in a sensational third quarter.

The last quarter was end-to-end netball with Oaksway giving their all.

Team Bath had tried to let the clock tick down in the last minute but Oaksway regained possession and got the ball to player of match Kambatuku who did the rest.

Team: Leah Kennedy, Vicky Burgess, Danielle Smith, Natasha Hampshire, Rebecca Neil, Hollie Linighan, Toetsie Kambatuku. Subs used: Ellen Hirst, Sarah Ferry, Alex Rhodes, Fiona Dewar