Slater hails Martinis improvement

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Vixens finished second in the All About Netball League

Dramatic finish to league season

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Martinis are toasting promotion after just a year on court.

The division seven champions were newcomers to netball when they took up a spot in the Gosport & Fareham League last summer.

But after gradual improvement during their debut campaign – and subsequent winter term – the ladies hit the jackpot with a successful title charge.

While some may write it off as beginners’ luck, team manager Lymara Slater reckons it is just rewards for their hard work and dedication.

She said: ‘Halfway through the season I had imagined we could possibly come within the top three.

‘So to finally finish in first place was a massive achievement for the girls and well deserved.

‘They have improved immensely, from their footwork to their spatial awareness and general defending and shooting, meaning they only lost one game all season.

‘After only their third season together, going from eighth in the first season, to sixth and now promotion is great.

‘And it ensures they remain positive going forward into next season.’

Martinis topped the table with an impressive record of 13 wins from 14 matches.

Gosport & Fareham Netball Association (GFNA) newcomers Misfits finished second.

They were chasing hard all the way but Martinis’ consistent hard work and improvement on court paid off to secure the crown.

‘Towards the end of the season, we were extremely anxious,’ said Slater.

‘There was a lot of pressure on us as the top spot all came down to our last two games.’

Martinis are part of a club, including division six outfit MegaMix. They began training together in the summer of 2011.

Former division one player Slater then decided to enter them in the Gosport & Fareham League – and she has even joined them on the court this season.

But she is unlikely to appear next term and goal-shooter Liz Vetcher has also been ruled out of the maiden division six campaign – leaving Martinis to embark on a recruitment drive.

‘I had a number of games supporting the team on court as well as coaching on the sidelines,’ said Slater.

‘And I really enjoyed playing among family and friends.

‘Unfortunately our star goal-shooter Liz Vetcher is off to study in Manchester and Martinis will really miss her.

‘I am also unable to play next season as I am expecting a baby, so we are hoping to recruit some more players.

‘We are all very excited, if slightly nervous about the prospect of playing in division six.

‘It is a great standard and will help the girls to continually improve.

‘We know it will be tough but we hope to hold our own.

‘And with MegaMix avoiding relegation, we will be competing against each other next season.’