Caroline Shawyer marvelled at 121’s meteoric rise to Portsmouth League division one and insisted: We’re deter-mined to stay.
The skipper, who is currently taking a break due to pregnancy, reckons her side have what it takes to survive follo-wing promotion from division two last term.
And after 121’s last foray into division one ended in relegation in 2009, she refuses to contemplate a repeat perfo-rmance.
Shawyer, who hopes to lead her side again in the winter season, said: ‘I am looking forward to playing again.
‘But before then I know the team will work together and fight for their position in the league.
‘We have played with five or six players in most games, for various reasons, so if we can stay up it would be great.’
Shawyer handed the reins over to vice-captain Shelley Tildesley until she returns.
But no matter who is at the helm, 121 are proving to be something of a happy family.
They boast two sets of sisters in the ranks.
Wing-defence Julie Christie and centre Sandy Harrison are siblings, while Claire and Kat Woodcock complete the pair.
Founder Caroline Payne has also welcomed her daughter Lauren into the side, teaming up with her in defence.
Payne formed formed the club 14 years ago when she taught netball sessions at Wimborne Junior School in Southsea. Several mums expressed an interest in playing again and so they started a friendly session on a Wednesday evening at the school.
After a couple of years they decided to enter the Portsmouth League, starting off in division six.
Over the years they have moved up through the divisions, while also seeing a few name changes.
Original players from the early days included Payne, Julie Christie and Sandy Harrison.
The team changed from Wimborne to Printware seven years ago.
In 2007 they became ACT – after a new sponsorship deal with a local company – and 12 months later were renamed 121.
Team member Claire King sealed a deal with 121, which is her mum’s flower shop in Southsea.
The club was kitted out in a new strip and began to soar through the divisions.
They finally made it to division one for the 2009 summer season, although were relega-ted straight away.
After regrouping, they netted promotion again last summer and, sitting comfortably in mid-table, they look set to extend their stay.
121 took on top of the division Angels this week and having seven players really made a difference as they had a super game, only losing by seven goals.
Their next fixture is against Maritime and 121 will go all out to claim a win.
Payne and Sharron Idir are the umpires and, although the team does not currently train, they are keen to hit the practice courts.
If any other teams in the Portsmouth area would like to train with them, please get in contact via the Portsmouth website.
n 121 would like to wish Marie and Caroline all the best with their pregnancies and are looking forward to having them back later this year.