Fareham Heathens gave everything in heavy Vase defeat

Fareham Heathens had a tough day in the Vase. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Fareham Heathens had a tough day in the Vase. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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Depleted Fareham Heathens gave it their all in a 62-10 defeat at Old Mid-Whitgiftian in the RFU Junior Vase.

The visitors were forced to play 60-year-old Peter Mitchell at hooker and the veteran stayed on for the full 80 minutes.

Heathens try-scorer Jashan Solanki felt all the players could hold their heads up high despite the result.

He said: ‘Peter has been playing for the club for more than 30 years and always seems to manage one first team game a year.

‘He went up yesterday expecting to play a cameo role at the end.

‘I expect he is feeling it now having played all game.

‘We went up there with a lot of inexperienced players.

‘Some had only had a couple of games in the second team.

‘Old Mid-Whitgiftian were a young and powerful side and they had us on the back foot virtually from the start.

‘The one area where we did better than them was in the scrummage where we had them going backwards.’

Solanki got the visitors on the scoreboard with a try in the first half.

Skipper Rob Impey made a strong break to create a two-on-one with the home full-back and Solanki was given an easy run in.

Jim Gardner, a second row forward who moved to number eight, scored Heathens’ second try from a push over scrummage.

Player-coach Dave Wheaton was proud of the way his players stuck at the task.

He said: ‘We were forced to make some late replacements due to last-minute drop outs and went up with a 16-man squad.

‘It was always going be a test for us but we pride ourselves on commitment and we were always going to play the fixture.
‘The lads put everything into the game, but the Whitgiftian backs proved too strong on the day.
‘Our forwards dominated in the scrum once more but just struggled at times in open play.

‘This was down to different combinations and getting used to each other which showed at times.

‘Our lineout worked well but we just didn't seem to move the ball out wide with any conviction yesterday.
‘I am very proud of the lads who put on a shirt, as I know they put in the effort.

‘They dug in and never gave up.’