SECURING the title on the final day of the season made success all the sweeter for Gemma Hillier.
The long-serving striker has experienced plenty of triumphs since she made her way into the Pompey Ladies first team as a teenager, after coming through the youth ranks.
But Sunday’s 3-1 victory against West Ham, in front of a packed Privett Park, sparked scenes of jubilation.
The Blues had come into the game needing only a point to seal the title.
But they finished the job in style.
For Hillier it was a fitting finale to a brilliant league season.
She said: ‘It’s incredible. We have worked for it all season.
‘I think it was really good for it to come down to the last day of the season.
‘The league has been so competitive and we have done so, so well.
‘We won the southern division to get into the national division a couple of years ago but that was not as competitive as this league.
‘Before the game we were really nervous and we know we don’t always perform very well when we are nervous.
‘It was just about getting the win, or the point.
‘We dug in, worked as a team and we got the result we needed.’
The Blues have silenced the doubters who had expected them to fall at the final hurdle.
Hillier scored the third goal on the day, with Sarah Kempson and Jess Frampton also netting.
‘We have been the underdogs for the whole season,’ added Hillier.
‘People have written us off. Even up to last week people said we still wouldn’t win it.
‘But I’m just so happy we have.
‘We couldn’t have done it without all our sponsors and the fans.
‘It’s amazing. We are all very close – players, staff, and the supporters – and this is for everyone.’