Bill Beaumont County Championship – Division 2 South

Match report by Richard V Isaacs

Hampshire produced a scintillating second half performance to throw down a significant marker in their opening Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 2 South encounter, running in ten tries in a 62-13 win over North Midlands.

Four tries from Tottonians centre Richard Buck and a hat-trick from debutant winger Alex Everett-Bolter (Bournemouth) led the way as the County Shield holders put the home side to the sword.

However, it took a while for Hampshire to get into the game despite dominating the early possession, a series of errors allowing the hosts a foothold into the game.

And it was they who took the lead after 16 minutes when full-back Tom Jones slotted a penalty from in front of the posts but missed a second opportunity six minutes later from slightly wider out.

Hampshire finally made their dominance count when flanker Kemp Price sprinted 50 yards after being released in space to touch down in the corner to take the lead that they never relinquished nor looked likely to.

Two tries in the space of three minutes just before half-time, both from Buck ensured they had a comfortable cushion to take into the second half.

The first, created by Wayne Dugan allowed the Totts man to cut his way to the line while the second, almost immediately from the kick-off, saw him weave through the North Mids defence.

It was the second half where Hampshire pulled away in emphatic style, scoring seven tries in a rampaging performance which skipper Wes Dugan described as “the best performance I have been involved in in a Hampshire shirt.”

Excellent skills from Wayne Dugan in keeping the ball in play on the right touchline released Everett-Bolter for his first try of the afternoon just three minutes into the half.

Buck completed his hat-trick, his second in consecutive matches after securing one in the warm-up game against Berkshire last week, which came after Hampshire stole a line-out and Price released the centre for his third.

Two minutes later and the lead was extended to an imposing 36-3 when Everett-Bolter flew down the right wing to touch down under the posts for his second.

It was simply one way traffic as North Midlands had no answer to the relentless attacks from Hampshire and they conceded again on 54 minutes when full-back Alex Sutherland (Bournemouth) took advantage of Dan Sargent and Rob Rees’ drives to touch down and convert his own score.

The home side did eventually find a way over the Hampshire line when Stourbridge hooker Jack Lea piled over but it was a short reprieve.

The free-scoring Totts centre added his fourth to bring up Hampshire’s half century and he was joined on the hat-trick podium by the impressive Everett-Bolter with three minutes remaining.

He was leaving his opposite number clutching at air on regular occasions and fully deserved the plaudits he received for his efforts as did former Hampshire U20 Kemp Price who capped off his first senior appearance with a second.

North Midlands did grab a last minute consolation when hooker Lea drive over from close range but it was but a mere consolation in this first ever senior match between these two sides.

Skipper Wes Dugan cut a proud figure at the end.  “The first 20 minutes were tough as we struggled to find our feet but once we got going and gelled together, we played some great stuff,” he said.

“The attitude of the players was excellent and that performance showed the intent we came into this game with.  It was a statement of intent and sets the foundation for the remaining two games.”

Hampshire welcome Somerset, who beat Warwickshire 43-14 in their opening game, to Gosport and Fareham next weekend (May 13) before receiving Warwickshire a week later at Havant.

North Midlands: Tom Jones (Luctonians), Calum Jones (Worcester), Aquile Smith (Hull Ionians), Ben Phillips (Birmingham/Solihull), Josh Trinham (Stourbridge), Rob Petty (Stourbridge), Ben Trinham (Stourbridge); Stefan Thorp (Stourbridge – captain), Jack Lea (Stourbridge), Mark George (Stourbridge), Sam Knott (Bromsgrove), Chris Goddard (Birmingham/Solihull), Henry Monkley (Luctonians), Sam Montieri (Bromsgrove), Steve Leach (Old Halesonians).  Replacements: Bobby Collins (Bromsgrove), Gino Belmonte (Bromsgrove), Tom Orchard (Birmingham University), Aiden Cheshire (Luctonians), Stefan Shillingford (Dudley Kingswinford), Brandon Lea (Edwardians).

Hampshire: Alex Sutherland (Bournemouth), Alex Everett-Bolter (Bournemouth), Richard Buck (Tottonians), Wayne Dugan (Gosport & Fareham), Harry Carr (Havant), Pierre-Alex Clarke (Tottonians), Wes Dugan (Gosport & Fareham – captain); Luke Marks (Havant), Tim Snowden (Gosport & Fareham), Dan Sargent (Worthing Raiders), Elliott Worrall (Portsmouth), Rob Rees (Winchester), Joe Rees (Bournemouth), Kemp Price (University of West of England), Gavin Hart (Havant).  Replacements: Alex Hibdige (Andover), James Monck (Andover), Richie Janes (Havant), Liam Perkins (Worthing Raiders), Nick Hones (Tottonians), Harry Dolbear (Tottonians), Matt Farnes (Portsmouth).

Referee: Claire Hodnett (RFU)


mens 2017

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