“The aim this season was to hold our own in the Hampshire premier but this opportunity to host the final is something else to get excited about.”
Courtesy of Portsmouth News:
Fareham Heathens are dreaming of Hampshire Plate glory after storming to a 35-12 semi-final win against Ellingham & Ringwood at Cams Alders.
Their success also means they will have the chance of lifting the trophy in front of their own fans.
They will host the final on April 13 at Cams Alders.
Player coach Dave Wheaton insists this gives the whole club a boost.
He said: ‘The aim this season was to hold our own in the Hampshire premier but this opportunity to host the final is something else to get excited about.
‘I was really impressed with the lads against Ellingham.
‘The forwards were in control and provided the clean ball that allowed our backs to run in the tries.
‘We spoke of the need to distribute the ball to our backs and you could see that this paid off.
‘Our scrummage held firm all afternoon and our new line-out options also worked.
‘The players have been heavily involved with ideas for set-piece plays and it brings a value of worth and contribution to the whole team.
‘The want and desire was there from the start and right from the kick off we were eager to keep the ball alive.’
Rikky Curtis proved a handful for the visitors all game with his go forward game.
He was backed up also by the powerful running lines of number eight Harry King and wing-forward James Whitefield.
Inside centre Kris Owens never gave up chasing and Jim Gardner repeatedly put his body on the line with some brave tackling
Captain Rob Impey, who grabbed a brace of tries himself, praised the physicality and fitness of the team.
He said: ‘We always knew our back-row could deliver and it was great to see.
‘It was a very physical encounter and our fitness levels were tested to the maximum.
‘Ellingham never gave up and applied plenty of pressure themselves.
‘Dan Lee, however, with his control of the forwards around the rucks and the kicking skills of Joe O'loghlen proved superior.’
O’Loghlen also grabbed a brace of tries with Curtis and Jashan Solanki also claiming touchdowns.
Solanki added a penalty and conversion.
In the final Heathens will meet Alton, who beat Locks Heath Pumas 37-7.
Updated 22:38 - 24 Feb 2019 by Heloise Fella