Martinis toast title after stirring season

Martinis served up a season to remember as they clinched promotion to division two in the Gosport & Fareham League.

Thursday, 28th January 2016, 8:00 am
Martinis  back row, left to right: Sam Aston, Charmain Figg, Hayley Dyke, Rosie Cartwright and Sherri McNamara; front row, left to right: Katie Candy, Lymara Slater and Stacey White. Missing: Becky Anderson and Katie Aitkenhead

With opponents GB TML unable to raise a team, Martinis were handed a 30-0 walkover win to confirm their status as division three champions at Brune Park, Gosport.

Formed in 2010, the team began life as a mixture of friends getting back into netball after time away from the court and newcomers eager to participate in the sport.

Lymara Slater, who was playing in division one at the time, started coaching the newly-formed outfit.

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Six months of training later, they entered the league in division seven.

That was followed by promotion to division six after only two seasons and, under the watchful eye of coach Slater, the girls have continued upwards every season.

After maternity leave, Slater decided to join the girls and started playing for Martinis, too.

She said: ‘It was a decision to play with friends and family, as my sister had also joined the team.

‘I really wanted to play alongside her.

‘I am so pleased with the current team, we are strong as ever and relish a challenge.’

Martinis have not been on the rocks in defence this campaign, proving almost unstoppable with their endless turnovers and interceptions.

The centre court work well together, constantly feeding balls to the shooters with great accuracy and precision.

And the shooters complement the work done behind them, by continuing to pop in the goals.

Elsewhere in division three, Devils earned a hard-fought and crucial 24-21 win against Fareham Zodiacs.

Captain Helen Keet’s decision to play Poppy Hudson in defence proved a tactical masterstroke.

Young Jade Kennedy had a fabulous game at goal-attack and goal-keeper Jeni Wilson worked hard with Hudson to stop the Zodiacs’ shots finding their target.

Hotshots also needed a win to keep them out of relegation bother.

Unfortunately, Blackjacks had other plans and took the win 28-22.

Rachel Hewitt, for Blackjacks, had a game to remember – turning over balls in mid-court before finding the shooters who converted their chances to goals.

GB Avengers beat Gosport Gators 42-17. In division four, GB Stars beat Wildcats 32-25.

It proved to be a mixed night for Stars, who celebrated becoming division winners but also contended with the loss of assistant coach Chelsea Smee to work commitments.

T&A Trojans and US Harriers shared the spoils in a 26-26 draw.

Misfits beat Blues 32-27, with Sarah Reeves defending the mid-court brilliantly for Misits. Finally, Pumas lost to Fareham Vixens 40-32.