McRoberts: Cup contest was great day for all

Wes Dugan, right, tussles for possession in the cup final at Gosport Park.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150799-5)
Wes Dugan, right, tussles for possession in the cup final at Gosport Park. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150799-5)
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Gosport & Fareham head coach Neil McRoberts feels the club can be proud of the way they staged the Hampshire Cup final.

It was the first time they have hosted the event and it was a huge success – showing what the club has to offer.

McRoberts also felt his players couldn’t have given any more as they slipped to a narrow defeat against their rivals.

There was some consolation as the second team earlier beat Andover to lift the John Collins Cup.

‘Results apart it was a fantastic day for the club,’ said McRoberts.

‘Both clubs can be proud of their teams and the cracking game of rugby they produced.

‘I can’t fault the effort from my players and they were all disappointed to lose.

‘Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get over the finishing line and all credit to Havant.

‘The whole occasion gave the club a chance to showcase itself and we can take a lot of pride in the way things went.

‘Having two cup finals here on the same day just added to the atmosphere.

‘It is estimated there was somewhere in the region of 800 plus turned up for the game.

‘Afterwards the atmosphere in the club house was terrific, with both groups enjoying the after-match celebrations together.

‘That is the way it should be.’

Despite losing the cup final, McRoberts is pleased with the progress made by his side this season.

After a few hiccups they cemented their place in London one south with a ninth-placed finish.

That was their aim at the start of the season when they set out to avoid another immediate return to the league below.

McRoberts believes he has the basis of a squad to keep taking the club forward.

‘We are in a good place,’ he said.

‘Having both our first and second teams in their cup final shows that.

‘The aim is to continue and make sure that we consolidate our London one south spot because we believe that is where we belong.

‘We are pretty much where we want to be but must make sure we kick on.’