Havant aim to sign off in style

Sam Berridge passes the ball for Havant. Picture: Mick Young (124185-06)
Sam Berridge passes the ball for Havant. Picture: Mick Young (124185-06)
Anthony Fooks. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-346)

Pearce: Best is yet to come from Portsmouth

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Havant are determined to end their season with a trophy as they take on old enemy Basingstoke in the Hampshire Cup final.

Over the years the cup has been littered with epic encounters between the two Hampshire juggernauts.

Havant coach Will Knight, who featured in a fair few as a player, wants his new crop of players to sign off with a win.

‘Winning the Hampshire Cup would be the icing on the cake for us,’ he said.

‘At the start of the season we set ourselves two targets – consolidate our position in London one south and win the Hampshire Cup.

‘We finished mid-table in the league and winning the cup would make it a very successful season.

‘Basingstoke have been playing a level higher than us all season but relegation means they will be back with us next year.

‘So it is an opportunity to put a marker down ahead of renewing our league games.

‘There has been a lot of traditional rivalry between the clubs over the years and I am expecting another competitive contest.’

Havant are without the Blackburn brothers Loz and Josh, who are attending a family wedding.

Knight’s squad, however, is boosted by the return of a couple of old faces.

Centre Sam Berridge is back from university and utility back Luke Warrington returns from Royal Marines duty in Plymouth.

The visitors also include Academy players, winger Jay Wilkes and back-row forward Dan Mundham who makes his first senior appearance on the replacements bench.

‘After a tough start to the season we feel we have taken some big strides forward,’ said Knight.

‘That is reflected in the number of games we lost by a narrow margin and the number of bonus points we picked up.

‘I have always felt there is more to come from this group of players and still do.

‘The foundations have been laid to carry it on next season with what is largely still a very young squad.’

Havant: Gains, Brierley, Berridge, Knight, Wilkes, Sweeney, Morris, Marks, Cooksley, Ward-Golden, Copeland, Neil, Goodger, Warren-West, O’Gorman.

Replacements: Osborne, Powell, Mundham, Bellman, Davis, Benjamin, Warrington