Stellar start continues for Gosport teens

Gosport Borough Stars claimed a second consecutive promotion
Gosport Borough Stars claimed a second consecutive promotion
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Gosport Borough Stars sealed a second consecutive promotion as their stunning start to life in the Gosport & Fareham League continued.

The teenage talents only entered the adult league a year ago – after the junior competition disbanded.

But they have gone from strength to strength, notching promotion from the seventh tier last summer and now taking the division six title.

It was far from plain sailing for the starlets, though.

Jannene Taylor, head coach at the Gosport Borough club, said: ‘This winter season they have done tremendously well, especially after losing two important players due to injury.

‘Bethany Merrifield dislocated her knee halfway through the season and was in full plaster up until the end’.

‘And then Olivia Lis was our second blow, within a week of Beth.

‘After suffering with her back, her doctor advised her not to play any sport for three months while it is investigated.

‘So we were down by two players and they were two of the youngest of the team at 13.

‘In the absence of Beth and Olivia, Stars brought in one of our younger club members, Hannah Norbury, who had only just turned 13 a week earlier.

‘While she is still learning, she has settled in brilliantly and has done fantastically well. We are very proud of her.’

Despite finishing in top spot in division six this season – with 13 wins in 16 games – the Gosport youngsters left it till the last minute to grab the title.

Taylor explained: ‘Two games from the end of the season, Stars were top and were playing the third-place team – Fareham Fireflys. After losing that match, they had to win the final match.

‘They won comfortably but then had to wait to see the result of another match – involving second place Fusion and third place Fareham Fireflys.

‘Whoever won would not only have gained promotion but would have also taken the top spot.

‘Luckily the two teams drew, so Stars were champions.

‘It is a credit to the character of the team to hold their nerve at that age.’

Gosport Borough are currently in talks with the council to see if they can use the town’s crest on their kit as they fly the flag in county and regional tournaments.

The club’s other sides also had solid seasons, with Blades and Mavericks secure in division two and the Avengers just missing out on joining them.

The Devils will play alongside the Avengers in division three next term after sealing promotion for the first time.

And Gosport Borough TML will be joining them after also gaining promotion with third spot in division four.

They are celebrating their second consecutive promotion since coming out of retirement to rejoin the league in March last year.