Havant after county crown

Havant coach Will Knight
Havant coach Will Knight
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Havant turn their attentions to the Hampshire Cup tomorrow and their semi-final against old rivals Basingstoke at Hooks Lane (2pm).

Will Knight’s team want to recapture their county crown after losing to the same opponents in last season’s final.

Whoever goes through will meet the winners of the other last-four clash between Gosport & Fareham and Portsmouth, which is due to be played next month.

Up until this season Havant have had to play second fiddle to their north Hampshire rivals from Down Grange.

This term, though it is Havant who have held the supremacy so far after a home league win back in November.

Basingstoke have been in turmoil following a 15-point deduction in the league for fielding an ineligible player and administrative errors.

And this is an ideal opportunity for the home side to further boost their growing confidence following an excellent league win at Charlton Park last weekend.

‘This is a chance for us to demonstrate that we are the top club in Hampshire,’ said director of rugby Rob Matthews.

‘It is also an opportunity for some of the youngsters selected to stake their case.’

In Hampshire one, Fareham Heathens face a difficult test along the south coast against second-placed Bognor.

The two sides met in the opening game of the season, when Heathens inflicted a rare defeat on the visitors.

Heathens, however, will want to avoid a repeat of the serious injuries suffered by two of their players on that occasion.

Centres Chris Hart and Doug Burrows both broke their legs in the space of six minutes and as a result won’t play again.

‘It was very unfortunate and not done with any malice,’ said Heathens match secretary Chris Lee.

‘The same Bognor player was involved in both incidents and he was distraught.

‘Since the first game Bognor have shown what a good team they are and this will be a big challenge for us.’

Heathens have benefited from the fall out at Team Solent, who have withdrawn from the league – and two of their players make their debut.

Centre Will West and scrum-half Ash Saunter come into the side for a baptism of fire.

Regular scrum-half Dan Lee is unavailable due to Hampshire under-20 duties against Middlesex at Overton RFC on Sunday.