Fareham Heathens confirm title credentials

Jonny Stoppard. Picture: Mick Young (151327-16)
Jonny Stoppard. Picture: Mick Young (151327-16)
Gosport & Fareham head coach Barry Bridgman. Picture: Neil Marshall (161436-4)

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Fareham Heathens confirmed their Hampshire one title credentials with a confident 36-0 bonus-point win over Farnborough at Cams Alders.

The win takes Heathens into second place – four points behind leaders Millbrook but with a game in hand.

Coach Bernie Rhodes was happy to see his team win again but still feels they are playing within themselves.

‘In the changing room afterwards it was like we had lost,’ he said.

‘That is because the players know they are capable of even better.

‘We played well in patches and to be fair had the game won by half-time.

‘There is plenty still to play for in the weeks ahead.’

Second-row Dave Wheaton opened Heathens’ account in the 11th minute – forcing his way over from a rolling maul.

Cam Guthrie soon added a penalty before converting a Ryan Keary try in the corner to establish a 17-0 lead at the break.

At the start of the second half, Andy Burns added another before Jonny Stoppard also went over to secure the bonus point.

Keary grabbed his second try of the game late on.

Bottom club Locks Heath Pumas slipped to a 15-8 defeat at Ellingham & Ringwood.

In division two, Southsea Nomads put in a commendable performance in a 27-19 loss to a powerful Alton side.

Head coach Jamie Clayson was pleased with his side’s application.

‘This was a very difficult game against a team who played a league higher last season,’ he said.

‘We stretched them to the limit and had we not gifted them a try at the start of the second half it might have been different.

‘We dominated for good periods of the game which highlights the progress we are making.’

Jonathan Branston kicked two early penalties before Alton clicked through the gears to score two tries.

Nomads refused to let their heads drop and Harry Phillips fended off two tackles to notch a try.

Branston scored all the Nomads points in the second half.