Havant Hockey Club have reason to cheer at end of 'tough' relegation campaign with thrilling final victory over rivals Fareham

Havant Hockey Club men's head coach Warren Gilmour says lifting Hampshire Cup silverware was the ideal ending to an incredibly 'tough' season.

By Lewis Mason
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:25 am

The club's first-team defeated rivals Fareham 3-2 in a thrilling final showdown at Basingstoke to secure county cup glory.

It was silverware success which arrived for Havant on the back of finishing rooted to the bottom of the Division 1 South standings and suffering relegation to the Conference West for next season.

Zimbabwean Gilmour took on head coach responsibilities in the new year, as resurgent Havant won three and drew one of their final five league fixtures - which included a victory at eventual champions Reading - but were still unable to avoid the drop.

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However, Gilmour was pleased to see the hard work and commitment of his players rewarded with some cup glory to celebrate at the season's conclusion.

‘It was difficult (season as a whole). Momentum is a word that is used quite a lot in sport but we just didn't get off to a very good start, the confidence starts to dip and the momentum goes away from you,’ said head coach Gilmour.

‘The performances were always fairly decent but we just didn't seem to get a ride of luck. At the end of the day, you obviously finish where you deserve to finish, but the second half of the season performances definitely picked up.

‘Obviously it's been a very tough season for Havant in a number of ways, so it was nice for the guys to finish off the campaign in a good way, getting that Hampshire Cup and silverware. It just showed that we are a good side even though it has been a very tough season.’

Havant Hockey Club's men's first-team celebrate after their 3-2 final win over rivals Fareham to be crowned Hampshire Cup winners

Jamie Rawlings' double strike either side of half-time had appeared to put Havant on the way to a comfortable final victory.

Yet Fareham were not going down without a fight, pulling the score back to 2-2, before Maciej Janiszewski grabbed what proved the winner with a converted penalty stroke.

Gilmour added: ‘It was a good game, games against Fareham are always tough, obviously it’s a local derby and you're playing against a lot of colleagues and friends you know.

‘It's always going to be heavily contested and it was a good game. They pulled themselves back into it after we went 2-0 up and it was a bit of a nervy finish. I always thought we had enough in the tank but you never know of these cup final days.

‘It was good, we had a couple of young guys playing who got a taste of it to get some silverware, it was nice - especially for the guys coming through a tough season - they managed to finish it off. We were really happy, good game, and really happy with the result.’

n Havant Ladies’ first-team were beaten 8-1 by a rampant Trojans side in the Hampshire Ladies Cup final at Basingstoke.