Gosport talents show Star quality

Gosport Borough Stars, with their coaches. Back row, left to right: head coach Jannene Taylor, Bethany Merrifield, Tabitha Millerchip, Morgan Watson, Kerri Gray, assistant coach Chelsea Smee. Front row, left to right: Natasha Clark, Olivia Lis, Ellie Shemmell, Kirsten Knight, Aleasha Swannick
Gosport Borough Stars, with their coaches. Back row, left to right: head coach Jannene Taylor, Bethany Merrifield, Tabitha Millerchip, Morgan Watson, Kerri Gray, assistant coach Chelsea Smee. Front row, left to right: Natasha Clark, Olivia Lis, Ellie Shemmell, Kirsten Knight, Aleasha Swannick
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For one team in the Gosport & Fareham League, life is just beginning.

Gosport Borough Stars were entered into the adult competition in March.

They made the move from the disbanded junior league and have taken to their new surroundings in style, much to the delight of head coach Jannene Taylor.

She said: ‘I entered GB Stars – who are all aged between 13 and 15 – into the adult league because of the Gosport & Fareham Netball Association’s junior league not being run this year for the first time in 20 years.

‘The girls have been playing in the junior league since they were under-10.

‘So Gosport Borough Netball Club decided to enter them into the adult league with permission from both the league and parents.’

And it seems the decision has more than paid off with the girls finishing top of division seven in their maiden season.

They won all but one of their 14 fixtures.

‘Knowing the girls and their ability, we – as coaches – knew they could hold their own in the adult league,’ said Taylor.

‘And thanks to the coaching they have received over the years and their understanding of the game, the girls played beautiful netball to win their division.

‘They were really nervous in the first match of the season and we were all apprehensively wondering if we had done the right thing by entering them so early.

‘But after losing that game by only one goal, we all felt a little more confident and in the end, that was the only match they lost all season.

‘The best memory I have of the season is seeing the girls playing against a team and winning 61-7 – a tremendous achievement for such young girls.’

And winning division seven was not the Stars’ only success this season.

The young Gosport side also achieved the second best goal difference in the whole of the Gosport & Fareham League – second only to division one Jets.

‘Chelsea Smee (assistant coach) and I are very proud of the girls,’ added Taylor.

‘This is probably one of our best achievements out of all of our teams, being as they are so young.

‘They still have lots to learn but if they stay together, they can grow together like Gosport Borough Mavericks have done.

‘They have worked their way through the junior league and adult league, right up to division two where they are now.’

Gosport Borough’s other sides have also had solid seasons with Gosport Borough Blades and Gosport Borough Mavericks finishing in fifth and sixth place in division two respectively.

Meanwhile, Gosport Borough Avengers managed a fourth-place finish in division three, despite an injury-hampered season.

Gosport Borough Devils had an up-and-down maiden campaign in division four.

But they managed to avoid relegation and will hope to learn from the experience next season.

They will be joined by Gosport Borough TML in division four.

TML gained promotion in their first season back after retirement – remaining unbeaten all term.