All or nothing for Heathens as title rivals visit

Nothing less than a win will do for Fareham Heathens in their top-of-the-table Hampshire One encounter against Bognor at Cams Alders (3pm).

Friday, 15th April 2016, 9:00 am
Fareham Heathens, above, host Bognor tomorrow in a top-of-the-table clash Picture: Mick Young

Third-placed Heathens are still in with a shout of winning the title but they will need to win both their games.

Their nearest rivals, Bognor and Millbrook, won their games in hand last weekend to leapfrog above Heathens.

It promises to be a nerve shredding end to the season as Heathens face both their title rivals in their final two games.

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Coach, Bernie Rhodes, feels his players can handle the pressure and pull it off.

‘There is a steely determination in the camp and the players seem very focused,’ said Rhodes.

‘When we are at our best opponents find it very difficult to contain us.

‘We know that if we don’t beat Bognor our realistic chances of finishing as champions will be gone.

‘If we beat them then it will set up a winner takes all final day game at Millbrook.

‘It was our win at Bognor in December that helped give us the belief that we could be title contenders.

‘In that game the players gave everything and put their bodies on the line.

‘Exactly the same effort will be needed if we are to beat them again.

‘We always knew after that game that we would need to win all our games in the second half of the season to finish top.

‘So far we have managed to do that.’

Rhodes is boosted by the fact that he has a full-strength squad to choose from but it leaves him with some difficult selection choices to make.

Full-back Ryan Keary returns from injury and Inia Qiolevu is also available again in the back-row.

‘We had a good win at Chineham two weeks ago but at times we made hard work of it,’ said Rhodes.

‘In this game we will need to show greater accuracy in our execution and take our chances when they come along.

‘Discipline and maintaining our composure will be important particularly in defence to keep out Bognor’s attacking threat.’