Beaumont County Championship Division 2 Pool 2 match report
by Richard V Isaacs

Hampshire will play at Twickenham for the second time in 12 months next Sunday despite making heavy weather of beating a plucky Warwickshire side at Havant on Saturday.

It took the home side until the 60th minute to finally take the lead and then ran in four tries in the final 10 minutes, the second of which secured the vital bonus point they needed.

But it was fair from plain sailing for Wes Dugan's side, who for the first hour made mistakes aplenty as they tried to force the game, knowing that Somerset were breathing down their necks.

Time after time, Hampshire's attacks broke down allowing Warwickshire, who were winless in this campaign, the chance to peg the home side back and the Midlanders held sway until well into the second half.

A try from winger Joshua James after nine minutes broke the deadlock in the visitors favour but they soon saw themselves reduced to 14 men when prop Sam Greening was dismissed for striking midway through the first half. 

If Hampshire through they would get it easy with the numerical advantage, they were sorely mistaken as former Winchester and Hampshire youngster Rhodri Adamson, who played for Jamaica in the recent Hong Kong 7s, was the catalyst behind his former county finding life hard.

On more than one occasion, the scrum-half had time to snipe the ball deep into Hampshire territory or send them backwards with a clever box kick.

A Ben Palmer penalty furthered Warwickshire advantage before the impressive Hampshire flanker Kemp Price drove to the line to get his side moving on the scoreboard, Pierre-Alex Clark adding the extras.

Some stiff words at the break saw Hampshire come out for the second half with plenty of purpose and Clark levelled the scores with a penalty shortly after the restart.

It was a barnstorming run from prop Dan Sargent that finally saw Hampshire grab the all important lead but, with Somerset winning comfortably at North Midlands, two more tries were required for the crucial bonus point.

They came in quick succession - the first finished by Bournemouth's Freddie Gleadowe and the clinching fourth came through Kemp Price's endeavours.

A pair of Alex Everett-Bolter tries, both converted by Tottonians' Clark, gave the scoreline a lopsided look given their struggles in the opening hour of the game.

Skipper Wes Dugan admitted that the first hour had been nervy.  "It just wasn't happening in the first half but, luckily enough, we got it together at half-time," he said.

"I think we were bit nervous in the early stages and we took a few wrong options, dropping a lot of ball and maybe trying a bit too hard knowing we had to score points to keep Somerset at bay.

"But once we calmed down at half-time and a few strong words about what this means to all of us, we played a lot better and once we got the fourth try and the bonus point, we knew we had done the job."

Hampshire will play Leicestershire at Twickenham next Sunday (17:15 kick-off) in a re-run of the 2008 County Championship Plate final, after they beat Durham 55-14 in their final group game.


Hampshire: Alex Sutherland (Bournemouth), Alex Everett-Bolter (Bournemouth), Freddie Gleadowe (Bournemouth), Wayne Dugan (Gosport & Fareham), Harry Carr (Havant), Pierre-Alex Clark (Tottonians), Wes Dugan (Gosport & Fareham - capt); Luke Marks (Havant), Tim Snowden (Gosport & Fareham), Ryan Wilkie (Portsmouth), Richard Janes (Havant), Ross Parkins (Chinnor & Army), Joe Rees (Bournemouth), Kemp Price (University of West of England), Gavin Hart (Havant).  Replacements: Alex Hibdige (Andover), Daniel Sargent (Worthing Raiders), Charlie Stonehill (University of Cardiff), Elliott Worrall (Portsmouth), Matt Farnes (Portsmouth), Harry Dolbear (Tottonians), Ben Brierley (Havant).

Warwickshire: Jack Hobbs (Silhillians), Tom Walker (Broadstreet), Andrew Murray (Broadstreet), Moses Liwaliwa (Nuneaton), Joshua James (Old Coventrians), Ben Palmer (Old Albanians), Rhodri Adamson (Coventry); Jake Dodd (Broadstreet), Will Priestley (Coventry), Sam Greening (Nuneaton), Andrew Weaver (Birmingham/Solihull), Matt Gibbs (Nuneaton), Andrew Forsyth (Earlsdon), Aaron Skyrme (Barkers Butts), Chris Wood (Rugby Lions - capt).  Replacements: Elliott Sheepy (Old Coventrians), Stephen Ballard (Manor Park), Tom Hill (Nuneaton Old Edwardians), Mike Ryan (Old Coventrians), Declan George (Newbold), Tyler Price (Hull), Timothy Douglas (Nuneaton)

Referee: Charles Gayther


Mens team



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