Former captain Harris bid fond farewell to Hornets

The triumphant Hornets
The triumphant Hornets
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Emma Harris has signed off in style after announcing her exit from the Hornets.

The umpire, player and former skipper helped the Portsmouth League outfit to the division three crown.

But as her team-mates gear up for an assault on division two, Harris is jetting off on her travels.

The founder member, who considers herself as the side’s biggest fan, said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who has helped support Hornets along the way.

‘Chris Burton, Jacqui O’Neill and Nicola Redman, you have helped keep us afloat and we can’t thank you enough.

‘But most importantly I would like to thank the Hornets for five years of great netball, laughter and friendship.

‘To anyone wanting to get back into netball or start a team, I hope the Hornets’ story will encourage you to go for it.

‘I am so proud of what we have achieved and hope the Hornets will continue to enjoy netball for many years to come.’

Harris joined forces with four friends to form the team in the summer of 2011.

The Hornets have had many ups and down after clinching the division five title in their first season

Players such as Kelly John, Ellie Moss, Lucy Shoebridge and Emma Butler have come and gone.

Goal-attack Alison Bean remains from that first campaign and, while never able to play her preferred position of wing-attack, she has been an enduring force in the circle.

Bean was player-of-the-season last term as the Hornets beat second-placed Cocktails 33-21 in a last-match decider to snatch top spot.

Emma Coats made a big impact in her first season as she was named most-improved player.

Coats added to a strong defence led by skipper Becca Ellison.

And follwing relegation from division two last year, Harris is delighted to see Hornets on the up again.

Harris added: ‘We are a self-funded, self-coached and self-managed team.

‘This comes with its challenges but also gives us the freedom to define what being a Hornet really is.

‘We would hope any umpire or team who has played with us would agree we are a friendly team.

‘We know this is not a label many aspire to but we are proud of it.

‘We play to win but our ultimate goal is to enjoy the sport and simply have fun.’