Fareham are county kings again

Fareham hockey club with the Hampshire Cup after a 1-0 final win over Havant
Fareham hockey club with the Hampshire Cup after a 1-0 final win over Havant
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A late first half goal by Alex Bennett gave Fareham a 1-0 win over neighbours Havant to seal their fourth Hampshire Cup final victory in the past five seasons.

Bennett capped a fine individual performance by scoring just before the break of a first half Fareham bossed without turning their penalty corner opportunities into goals.

Matt Weekes had a fine game in goal for Havant, who took the opportunity to blood several promising youngsters against a full-strength Fareham side.

Unlike last season’s action-packed final at Haslemere, which Fareham won 4-3, this was a generally tight, closely-contested affair, made difficult by the bumpy Chapel Gate surface in Bournemouth.

Both sides struggled on the springy, uneven pitch but, to their credit, tried to make the most of it.

Dan Faulkner and Sam Hatherley went close for Havant in the closing stages of a generally scrappy second half. The result rounded off a successful end to the season for Fareham, who recently staved off relegation in the EHL Conference play-offs.

For Havant, the final was an opportunity to give valuable pitch time to the club’s up and coming youngsters.

The two teams will come up against each other again next season when they compete in the EHL Conference West.