Starlet shines on News prize night

Mark Smith was on target for Horndean. Picture Ian Hargreaves

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THERE isn’t much room on the Jones family mantlepiece these days.

But they are today desperately trying to make more space, as Ebonie Jones continued a sensational spell.

Ebonie Jones with her young sportswoman of the year award.  Picture: Sarah Standing (14841-6754)

Ebonie Jones with her young sportswoman of the year award. Picture: Sarah Standing (14841-6754)

The Drayton boxer’s outstanding 2013 was lauded at The News Sports Awards last night, as our communities’ sporting excellence was once again highlighted.

Fratton Park hosted the gala evening – in its 12th year – as hundreds of people packed into a rammed-to-capacity Victory Bar.

And it was Jones who stole the show, as the 15-year-old’s achievements on the European and world stage were recognised.

The Heart of Portsmouth starlet stormed to a national title, EU Championship success along with gold at the Nation’s Cup – and World Championship bronze.

That underlined her precocious talent for a teenager with Olympic ambitions.

And it was those achievements which saw her named young sportswoman of the year.

The runner-up in that category was Kelly Simm, who is on the brink of gymnastics stardom after sealing glory the Austrian Championships.

Elsewhere, Gosport Borough’s exciting progress was highlighted as the club were named team of the year.

Borough representative Jeremy Fox was on hand to collect the trophy with the side gearing up for Sunday’s FA Trophy final at Wembley.

Their success was further acknowledged as manager Alex Pike picked up runner-up in coach of the year.

Excel Gymnastics chief Lee Carmichael was the winner in that category after guiding the southern region squad to national gold.

Last year will go down in history as the year Pompey became the biggest fan-owned football club in the United Kingdom, as supporters saved the Blues from oblivion.

That was recognised as Pompey Supporters’ Trust picked up the outstanding contribution to sport, with club stalwart John Jenkins MBE named runner-up in the category.

Manager Richie Barker joined a number of the squad and Blues staff with a healthy club representation at the evening.

Jed Wallace’s exciting breakthrough in 2013 was recognised as he edged Patrick Agyemang to the Pompey player-of-the-year title.

Judo ace Sarah Hopkins picked up the sportswoman of the year gong after winning the European Masters title and British Judo Masters player of the year.

GB duo Andy Vernon (athletics) and Greg Bridet (boxing) collected the sportsman-of-the-year honours and boxing coach Ted Harris, who has retired from the sport after 35 years, won the lifetime achievement award.