HAMPSHIRE RUGBY

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Match report and pictures by Richard V Isaacs 

Hampshire booked their place in the County Championship Shield semi-finals with a comfortable and comprehensive eight-try demolition of Berkshire, helped by a hat-trick from Tottonians' fly-half Pierre-Alex Clark. 

Clark, who maintained the number 10 shirt ahead of this club colleague and regular Totts fly-half Robbie Searle, showed why the selectors showed faith in him by crossing three times, twice after the break. 

He went over after 12 minutes to open the scoring before Alex Sutherland (Bournemouth) added a second five minutes later after good work by the forwards to set up the position to spread the ball wide to find the full-back. 

Former Tottonians prop Joe Tarrant, who is now playing his rugby at Bournemouth, drove over for Hampshire's third try on 24 minutes and added a second on the stroke of half-time as he piled his way over from short range. 

That came after Joe Rees (Bournemouth) had gone over to ensure Hampshire claimed the bonus point on 36 minutes and the visitors went in 29-0 to the good at the interval. 

Hampshire did take their foot off after the break despite Clark posting his second try eight minutes into the second period but had to wait until 13 minutes from time to complete his hat-trick, bundling over wide on the left. 

Bournemouth winger Luke Chandler put the cherry on the cake in injury time to grab Hampshire's eighth try of the afternoon to ensure a very comfortable passage to the last four of the competition on May 21. 

Team manager Simon Burns was a delighted man to see his charges book their place in the semis.  "That is phase two of the four point plan completed and we did it very well. 

"We are really playing as a team and it was particularly pleasing to 'nil' a competitive Berkshire side this afternoon. 

"The forwards provided the platform with a dominant performance, pushing the Berkshire scrum backwards all day and the backs took full advantage.  But everyone knows that this is just the beginning and the hard work continues in a couple of weeks time when we play in the semi-final - wherever that will be."

It was the first time that Hampshire has kept a clean sheet in the County Championship since the semi-final victory over Kent in the semi-final of the Championship Plate of 2008 - the last silverware the senior County XV won. 

Is it to be an omen? 

 

HantsTeam

 

For more action shots plase follow this link ... https://www.flickr.com/photos/hampshirerfu/albums/72157667539069520



Teams:
Berkshire: Miles Lloyd, Saul Ames Reddin (both University of Reading), Josh Love (Newbury), Dan Witko (Reading), Dylan Baptist (Reading Abbey), Ollie Mann (Harpenden), Joe Pigot (Newbury); Mark Roberts (Reading), Robbie Drysdale (Newbury), Nick Ovens, Leo Bailey (capt) (both Bracknell), Josh Winfield (Newbury), Liam Goodison, Lochlon Valentine (both Bracknell).  Reps: Mark Toland, Tim Brain (both Reading Abbey), George Jupp (Windsor), Joe Hallett (Reading Abbey), Guy Jones (University of Reading), Jake Lindlay (Bracknell), Tom Head (University of Reading). 

Hampshire: Alex Sutherland (Bournemouth), Wayne Dugan (Gosport & Fareham), Robbie Searle (Tottonians), Joel Knight (Havant), Luke Chandler (Bournemouth), Pierre-Alex Clark (Tottonians), Wes Dugan (capt) (Gosport & Fareham); Joe Tarrant, Ben Allman (both Bournemouth), Ken Dowding (Chichester), Ali Ramus (Tottonians), Elliott Worrall (Ivybridge), Joe Rees (Bournemouth), Steve Cruddas, Gavin Hart (both Havant).  Reps: Luke Marks (Havant), Ryan Wilkie, Tom Hankey (both Portsmouth), Harrison Young (Havant), Darren Crabb (Portsmouth), Harry Dolbear (Tottonians), Jake Hiscock (Winchester). 

Referee: Richard Timbrell 

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