Meon ready to step it up after dream promotion

Meon regional team have been in great form. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (142532-1)
Meon regional team have been in great form. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142532-1)
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Meon coach Debbie Laycock believes the club can make their presence felt in division two of the Netball South Regional League.

Last season the team were promoted on the final day, after an impressive 44-33 win against Dreams 2.

That proved enough to ensure they topped the table and earned the one promotion spot.

Regional coach Laycock feels the success was a great reward for the hard work the team have put in.

She said: ‘I am extremely proud of all the players and what they have achieved.

‘It’s just desserts for all their hard work.

‘Credit must also go to past members who put us in this position of regional netball.

‘Looking forward, division two is going to be challenging but I believe we have the strength in depth, as well as talented youngsters coming through, to make an impact.’

Meon are now in their third year in the South Regional League.

They finished as runners-up in their first campaign in 2012-13, losing just two matches.

Only league restructuring denied them an instant promotion.

They started the 2013-2014 season more determined than ever to secure a place in division two.

An exciting trip to newcomers Guernsey set the tone for their success.

Showing great strength, teamwork and focus, Meon came away with a one-goal win, despite the 300-strong home crowd against them.

The season continued with some great results, including a 42-30 win against Eagles and a 54-14 result against Abingdon.

They went into the Christmas break with it all to play for in second position having lost two tight games at the top.

Meon then hit top form in 2014 with Natalie Crane and Julie Osborne unbreakable in the defensive circle and a new shooting combination of youngster Sarah Butler and Terri Speight, who rarely missed a shooting chance.

Despite some great results, Meon lost their top-of-the-table clash against Brize.

That meant the single promotion position would be decided on the final day of the season.

Meon did their bit early in the day, confidently beating Dreams and later they were confirmed champions.

Butler, 17, won the player-of-the-season prize.

She had an outstanding season at goal attack, showing fantastic consistency in the shooting circle and some inspirational play on court – certainly a player to watch for the future!

Meon captain Cara Dewis said: ‘We would like to thank Mandy Gerrard who covers the umpiring for our home games.

‘We have been in training over the summer on Thursday nights so we are ready for the new season with our first fixture being away to Woodley on Sunday, September 21.’