Junction heading in the right direction

Action from Meon's match with Eagles II at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth

IN PICTURES: Meon 36 Eagles II 71

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Junction are making the most of a change in direction.

After years of struggling to survive, the Portsmouth outfit are firmly on the road to recovery.

Currently fourth in division four, they are plotting a course for promotion to division three.

And they are now looking out for a sponsor to help them accelerate in the new year.

Junction started life as Junction 12 – named after the exit on the M27 nearest to their training courts.

Following a spell simply playing friendly fixtures, they decided to join the Portsmouth League in the summer of 2008.

However, the early days were not kind to the new club and they quickly became the perennial strugglers of division six.

And in 2009 they slammed their foot on the brake.

Junction 12 made the bold move to join forces with B2N – who had not fared much better.

Captained by Anita Gray, the team began to train relentlessly and picked their strongest team every week.

And slowly but surely they started to move through the gears.

Bethan Thomas took over from Gray and the team applied for – and were successful – in obtaining a grant from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation.

Thomas, who is now vice-captain of the club, said: ‘We didn’t do too well in the early days but this was a team that played for fun.

‘And with 11 ladies in the squad, the positions were rotated to ensure everybody got a turn in playing matches.

‘When we got the grant our main priority was to buy new kit.

‘But we also wanted a name change, as no-one was keen on being named after a bit of the motorway.

‘And due to our hard work we were beginning to cause ripples in division six. We were no longer the joke team!

‘We were starting to win our games and were proud of our achievements.

‘We did not want to totally lose the identity of being Junction 12, so we decided to just drop the 12 and call ourselves Junction.’

Promotions followed, while Marony Choppen took the reins from Thomas.

And after reaching the previously unimaginable heights of division four they are continuing to look up – and are now looking for a sponsor to drive them on.

Interested parties can contact Choppen or Thomas via the PNA website portsmouthnetball.org.uk