Havant youngsters end season on a high

Havant under-16s won the Hampshire Cup final
Havant under-16s won the Hampshire Cup final
Niall Stott.  Picture: Neil Marshall

Fareham set sights on a finishing in the top half

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Havant under-16s made up for the disappointment of the National finals the week before to win their third consecutive Hampshire Cup final on Sunday.

Havant under-16s made up for the disappointment of the National finals the week before to win their third consecutive Hampshire Cup final on Sunday.

The youngsters edged past Bournemouth 2-1 at Wellington sports ground in Southampton thanks to goals from man-of-the-match Ethan Hoddle and Jack Stubbings.

Coach Craig Stevens said: ‘It was a hard-fought match, but Havant’s greater determination and skill made the difference.

‘We are very proud of the boys who ensured the season finished on a high with a great team performance.

‘It was the third consecutive win for Havant in the u16 Hampshire cup and a reward for a season where the boys have trained hard, improved their skills and showed fantastic team spirit.

‘Thanks to all the parents and Havant members who turned up to support the team.’

The message going into the match from head coach Peter Nail was to learn from the Nationals, take their chances, play simple stick-to-stick hockey and work as a team.

Havant started the game brightly with some excellent pass and move hockey and were soon 1-0 up thanks to a well-taken goal from Hoddle.

They were unlucky not to score a second, as the Bournemouth goalkeeper pulled off a string of fine saves.

There were chances at both ends, though, with Havant keeper Louis Elston also making some excellent saves.

In the second period, Bournemouth were awarded a penalty flick when a ball going across goal hit a foot to make it 1-1.

However, Havant regained the lead after a well-taken deflection from Stubbings.

It was made harder as a string of harsh cards were handed out and at one point Havant were down to nine players but still defended resolutely and didn’t concede, the sign of a great team.

As the half wore on, Havant defended deeper but the defence of Louis Elston, Ollie Wright, Josh Cant, Matt Cottrell and Tom Stevens stopped Bournemouth from scoring and the match ended 2-1 to Havant.

The midfield of Louis Wrenn, Stubbings, Nick Walters, Finn Carvalho and George Whelan held the midfield with some good passing and the forwards Hoddle, Matt Cooper, Ollie Reed and Freddie Hares caused the Bournemouth defence constant problems.

SQUAD LIST: Louis Elston, Matt Cottrell, Ollie Wright , Josh Cant, Tom Stevens, Louis Wrenn, Nick Walters, Jack Stubbings, Matt Cooper, Ethan Hoddle, George Whelan, Finn Carvalho, Ollie Reed, Freddie Hares