Double celebration for supreme Havant side as they beat Bournemouth to seal major glory
Havant under-18s beat a talented Bournemouth side to seal an impressive hockey double as they were crowned Hampshire Cup and Hampshire League champions.
For most of the squad this was their last junior game for Havant after very successful Havant junior careers. They have made four England Hockey national final appearances, sealed three cup wins and secured five league titles. So it was a huge occasion and the boys were confident.
They took on the team they have faced in the final for the past five years.
Both teams were wary in the early stages and didn’t want to concede ground.
Havant soon stepped up a gear and started to get chances in the D.
From one of those Sam Horsman scored from an excellent drag flick.
The second half started brightly with sustained Havant pressure.
A fantastic passing move from defence down the right saw Johnny Pardey make an excellent run along the back line where he squared for Jamie Allen to score.
Bournemouth then pulled one back from a well-executed penalty corner.
Havant responded immediately with another well worked goal finished off by Matt Cottrell.
Bournemouth got another goal back to make it 3-2 with one minute left but Havant defended resolutely to wrap up the double.
Goalkeeper Louis Elston made several excellent saves against a very dangerous Bournemouth side.
The defence of George Whelan, Finn Carvalho, Tom Stevens, James Hudson and Connor Lasrado foiled the Bournemouth attacks and were strong going forward.
Havant’s midfield of Tom Croft-Baker, man-of-the-match Matt Cottrell, Morgan Sturt, Cameron Clarke and Luke Tunstall held possession and created lots of chances.
The forwards Sam Horsman, Freddie Hares, Johnny Pardey, Jamie Allen and Sam Clarke caused the Bournemouth defence constant problems and chipped in with vital goals.
Tristram Randall, Nick Gadd, and Oli Keynes all made important contributions during the season and Havant were also without two regulars, Rhydian Walsh and Nick Walters, due to injuries.
Cottrell, Allen and Horsman got the goals.
Team manager Craig Stevens said: ‘To all the boys leaving for university or to careers in the services we wish you well and are very proud of you, you will have tremendous hockey careers and hope to see you back with the green army at some point. To the boys staying, you have big boots to fill, but we know you will do well next season.’