1st XV Men
Sat 23 Mar 2024  ·  Regional 1 South Central
Havant Rugby Football Club
1st XV Men
Tries: A Morgan, B Holt, S Shepherd, H YoungConversions: J Knight (3)Penalties: J KnightYellow Carded: J Leat, J Wise
Title in the bag as Havant battle up the hill

Title in the bag as Havant battle up the hill

Pete Mayhead25 Mar - 19:44
Share via


Havant travelled to Marlborough for the first time ever on Saturday, with one job, win! The weather was awful, hailstones and a gusty wind putting paid to attractive rugby. The pitch with its obvious slope was also a challenge, as was the huge Marlborough team.
Will Knight made a couple of changes with Richie Janes coming back into the fold after his enforced absence. The bench also saw the return of Nathan Bellman after a couple of Dolphin appearances.
Havant's task was simple another win, battling up the slope in the first half and the wind and hailstones in their faces, Havant started the brighter, but it was Marlborough who got the first points on the board with a penalty in front of the posts.
Havant came straight back and with better execution could have scored the first try, but it was not long before a well worked catch and drive saw them march up the hill from the twenty-two with Armandus Morgan coming up with the ball and Havant's first try.
Marlborough again score a penalty in front of the posts making the score 6-7 in Havant's favour with just over twenty minutes gone.
Havant continued to push Marlborough and there were some big hits from both sides. I'm sure there were some sore body bodies after the game.
After some more pressure inside the twenty-two Ben Holt found his usual gap and sniped in for Havant's 2nd try of the afternoon.
Back came Marlborough down the slope with pressure on the scrambling defence, space was found for their first try of the afternoon, just before the half-time whistle.

Half-time Marlborough 13 Havant 14

An early penalty saw Marlborough move into the lead, and when James Wise was yellow carded on sixty minutes, Havant were under real pressure. A try followed and the local crowd sensed an upset. Marlborough led 21-14.
But Havant just find a way! don't they. Another superb rolling maul which looked like it was heading for the high street let alone the try line gave Sean Shepherd his twentieth try of the season, Havant back with two points with fifteen to go. The pressure ramped up and with the advantage of the slope Havant put some real pressure on the Marlborough defence, Joel Knight made a surging run only to be stopped just short. But Harrison Young made no mistake from close range and Havant had their noses back in front. 21-26.
When Jacob Knight added a penalty a few minutes later, news was filtering on the sidelines that London Welsh was beating Camberley. Surely not the title in the Wiltshire hills?
The game became a little scrappy in the dying minutes with victory pretty much assured against a very uncompromising Marlborough, the whistle was a blessing...

Full-time Marlborough 21 Havant 29

What was to follow, will surely be noted for posterity, a long wait in the changing rooms with everybody refreshing the Welsh twitter "X" Feed.
Finally, the news everybody associated with Havant RFC had been waiting for, Camberley soundly beaten on their own patch by a rampant London Welsh. Havant crowned champions with a game to spare in this very tough league. What an honour and privilege to watch from the sidelines. Promotion back to the National leagues after a fourteen-year wait.

Will Knight's thoughts after the game.
"What a fantastic day! I am so pleased for everyone involved they have worked so hard for this. The game today was tough, and Marlborough are a good side but again we kept our composure and found a way. As coaches we are so fortunate to work with such a dedicated and humble group, they are outstanding players but even better people. We have another game to go, and we want to finish strong and hope that we can take the Havant roar up to Horsham and finish off the season in style."

Match details

Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024




Regional 1 South Central

League position

Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

Main Club Sponsor - Bell Integration
shirt sponsor - R.R.S