Hot Flames blazing a trail

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Hotshots sizzle in season-opener

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Balance, commitment and consistency have been the key ingredients for Fishbourne Flames as they climb the Portsmouth League.

Captain Liz Adlington led the team to the division five title last season.

Now they are flying high in division four as well.

It’s been a great run of form and Adlington puts it down to the excellent balance in the side – plus they have determination and dedication.

She said: ‘We are lucky to have a good balance of defenders and attackers within the team and very able and consistent shooters.

‘We take it in turns to serve as captain and I have been in this role since the start of the winter 2013 season.

‘I am really proud of the team’s achievements over the last two seasons.

‘Last season we topped division five without losing a game and we are doing very well in division four, currently second in the table with one game to play.

‘It’s easy to captain such a committed bunch of players who, even though we have a distance to travel, turn up and play with a great attitude every week.

‘A special mention must go to Angela Ruscoe, our team manager, whose hard work dealing with all the administration of running a league side means we can just enjoy playing our netball.’

As a team Fishbourne don’t currently train on a regular basis.

But recently some members have joined in with Havant Yellows and Blues – who are rivals in their division – for training.

Flames grew from a friendly netball group which was set up by Ruscoe eight years ago at Fishbourne Centre’s multi-sport court.

The aim was to give the opportunity for players of all ages and abilities to enjoy netball on a turn up, pay and play basis.

It was a great way to keep fit, and lots of laughs were to be had as the players bonded together.

Subsequently, friendly matches were arranged with other local teams in Chichester.

Then, in 2010, a group of dedicated members decided to take it to the next level and form a team to play competitively in the Portsmouth League and Fishbourne Flames was born.

Captain Adlington said: ‘We have always been known by this name as the team was formed in Fishbourne and the Fishbourne Centre contributed towards the cost of our kit, as did our other sponsors Lexus Croydon and local sports shop Game, Set & Match, Chichester, who are also our official kit supplier.’

Most of the team are still the same players from the early days.

Next season they hope centre Tina Murden will return to play for the team again.