Ferry sail to glory on maiden voyage

Sarisbury Sparks Allstars

Sparks shine bright

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Gosport Ferry made an instant impact on the Portsmouth League.

A perfect record in division five has seen the ladies net promotion in their debut season.

With 16 wins from 16 games, they are certain to be dangerous opponents in the fourth flight, too.

But without umpire Helen Nelson, none of it could have been possible.

Captain Hollie Fletcher said: ‘Over the past couple of seasons we have signed some brilliant new players.

‘They include Sam Smith, Ruth O’Grady, Lauren Swann and Kerry Loughrey.

‘It has made our squad into a strong nine.

‘We are eternally grateful to Helen as none of our team have taken an umpiring course.

‘Without her we may not have started our team in the Portsmouth League, so we are all very thankful for her help and support.

‘The commitment shown in our first season in the Portsmouth League has been outstanding and I couldn’t be more proud of how well we have all played.

‘Winning the division has made the girls that bit more determined to play hard and we hope to continue through the divisions.’

Ferry formed in 2002 after meeting at school. Fletcher is a founder member of the side, along with Kim Pinder, Stacey Dewan and Stacey Pankhurst, while players such as Kirsty Parsons and Wendy Edney have starred over the years.

After starting life in the Gosport Junior League at under-14 level, they stepped up to the adult league where they welcomed aboard Sharon White. Originally known as Blue Jeans, they were later called Pepsi Max.

But a sponsorship deal with the Gosport Ferry saw them change name again and they have not looked back.

Fletcher now has a settled squad to choose from and is reaping the rewards on the court.

Runner-up spots in tournament play has followed league titles, as the side go from strength to strength.

The skipper said: ‘We are appreciative of the continued support Gosport Ferry have provided for us.

‘We hope to continue the partnership in the years to come.

‘We have really come together as a team and are playing to a good standard.’