Ben Barnes toasted a ‘special day’ for Fareham after seeing his side claim Hampshire Cup glory in emphatic style with a 6-1 win over Havant.
The Henry Cort outfit were at their ruthless best in front of goal on Monday as they recovered from falling behind to thrash Ady Adams’ side in Aldershot.
Jamie Rawlings scored twice with Chris Davey, James Seager, Edward Carson and Alex Boxall also on target for the victors after Jonathan Pickett had opened the scoring for Havant.
Both rival teams were without a number of key, experienced players as the focus turned to youth.
Barnes, though, praised the maturity of his side’s performance as Fareham continued their long and proud history in the competition.
He said: ‘It was a great win and a special day.
‘I would have taken that result at the start of the day!
‘Any silverware is great and Fareham has a long and proud history in the Hampshire Cup – it has a special place in the club’s heart.
‘The performance itself was the biggest positive for me.
‘Both teams were missing a few players but we have some very talented juniors coming through so it was a wonderful opportunity to give them an experience of that kind of pressure environment of a final.
‘We had five teenagers playing and the most pleasing thing was the younger players who came in still played in our style – we didn’t look any different.
‘We made the pitch really big when we had the ball and made them have to chase a lot.
‘I was impressed with the way we attacked and the nature of the goals we scored because there were some really wonderful team goals.’
Havant opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Pickett slammed home from a penalty corner at the second time of asking.
The lead only lasted five minutes, though, as Rawlings replied with an effort of his own, albeit via a deflection off a defender’s stick.
Davey then gave Fareham the lead from a narrow angle before Seager finished a fine team move to send them two goals clear at the break.
Another Rawlings penalty corner was followed by Carson and Boxall efforts to round off a fine team win for Fareham.
Havant coach Adams was left to rue the absence of key players but was quick to heap praise on youngsters Will Jones and James Harper.
He said: ‘We gave a lot of pitch time to two promising youngsters who did very well so there are a few positives to take from the game.
‘But we had some key, experienced players out and had to completely reshape our defence as a result.
‘I can’t fault the effort and work rate of the lads but we could not get any flow or consistency to the game.’