Wes Dugan grabbed a hat-trick of tries to help Gosport & Fareham to their first-ever league win over local rivals Havant at Gosport Park.
Scrum-half Dugan capitalised on the good work of the dominant home forwards who laid the foundations for the 27-18 win.
He proved unstoppable from close-range as Havant were pushed onto the back-foot.
‘Wes is very much the perfect scrum-half and could easily have played at a higher level,’ said Gosport coach Neil McRoberts.
‘Not only is he physically strong and powerful, he also has a good rugby brain.
‘He instinctively knows when to link, when to take the ball on and drives the forwards on.
‘Over the years he has stayed loyal to Gosport and we are pleased to have him in our ranks.’
Gosport started the game powerfully but suffered a set-back when Havant broke out to open the scoring after a fortuitous bounce.
Havant turned the ball over and scored out wide with Joel Knight converting from close to the touchline.
‘It wasn’t ideal and took the wind out of our sails,’ said McRoberts.
The home side soon regained their composure, though, and hit back with a catch-and-drive try of their own from a line-out.
Dugan then went over for the first of his three tries, with brother Wayne adding the extra points.
Havant levelled the scores at 12-12 after Gosport fell asleep, allowing Grant Morris to gather a speculative kick over the top to score.
Gosport’s dominance up front began to show when Dugan went over after another line-out catch-and-drive.
The visitors kept in touch with two further Knight penalties at the start of the second half.
But Dugan stretched Gosport’s lead to 27-18 with his third try.
A second yellow card for Wayne Dugan left the hosts a man short and facing a difficult final 15 minutes.
Superb defence, however, kept Havant at bay and gave Gosport their first win of the season.
McRoberts was delighted with a strong performance from the forwards, who ensured the backs had plenty of the ball to work with.
He said: ‘We were very combative up front and at the breakdown area.
‘The forwards had the beating of Havant early on and superiority in the scrums gave us an excellent platform.
‘That allowed us to win a lot of possession which we were able to use to make big inroads with our ball carriers.
‘Chris Thompson and Tom Blackburn used their experience and power going forward.
‘Up the middle Wayne Dugan and Jordan Humphreys got us into good positions.’
The win gives McRoberts lots of encouragement as his team look to establish themselves at the higher level.
Last time Gosport reached this level they went straight back down after just one season.
McRoberts is optimistic his team will avoid a repeat of that this time around.
He believes the pack will be key to their efforts to keep picking up positive results and feels they have set the standard to push on from.
He said: ‘We have more than done our justice in the opening two games.
‘If our forwards can keep giving us a platform then we can cause lots of teams problems.’