Gosport & Fareham host Havant in the Gales HSB Hampshire Cup Final this Saturday (25th April at 3pm) with the men in charge of both teams forecasting "a cracker of a game" writes Brian Seeney.


It's one of two Finals on the day - the Gosport & Fareham 2nd XV play Andover in the John Collins Cup Final (kick-off 1pm).


Gos 1st XV Head Coach Neil McRoberts, who is an ex-Havant player, says: "For me personally ours is the perfect final with two clubs I've played for. But more important than all of that is that it's the perfect final because it's the top two Hampshire sides battling it out to be the Hampshire champions.


"It's hugely important for the Cup competition as a whole that you have the two biggest clubs playing in the final and we've got that and it's a nice place for us to be playing against Havant.


"Both teams have played a lot of rugby against each other from minis, through juniors, colts and seniors and there's a lot off history there for the players.


"It's going to be a cracker of a match that played in the right spirit will be ultra competitive and could possibly be one of the best County Finals seen for a long time if everyone lives up to what they can do.


"The competition between us and Havant is very important for the area and for the County. There's a mutual respect between the two teams that means we stand a really good chance of a really good game of rugby.


"Being at Gosport Park adds to the fact that this is the perfect final for us with our home support. But I'm sure Havant, who are very well supported at Hooks Lane, will bring a lot of supporters over and it should be a fantastic occasion."


In their league (London 1 South) both sides won their home games this season with Havant finishing the season in seventh place in the table and Gosport & Fareham ninth.


Havant Head Coach Will Knight shares McRoberts' view on the prospects for the match: "I expect this Cup Final to be a cracker," he said.



Flashback to 2014 - the Basingstoke team won in extra time, Photo: Richard Isaacs


"It is a fitting end to a long tough season and it is a contest between what are undoubtedly the two best sides in the county. I am sure both teams will provide plenty to shout about.


"Last season the final brought heartbreak as we lost by two points (13-11) after extra time at Basingstoke.


"With honours even in the league this season, there is nothing to choose between our two teams.


"We know the challenge of playing at Gosport Park, but our travelling support has been magnificent this year and we hope that the blue and white army will be out in force.


"The rivalry between Havant and Gosport & Fareham has always been keen but has been much more focused in the last few seasons as we have gone head to head in league and cup on so many occasions.


"Local derbies are built not only on proximity but on familiarity and there are so many connections between the two clubs that can only add to the excitement and competitiveness of this game."


Click here to find directions to Gosport Park.


The Gosport & Fareham main car park will be closed to all but lunch diners and specially invited guests and players. There will be no parking allowed in Dolphin Crescent with traffic cones in place.


All other drivers will be directed to the overspill car park on the far side of Gosport Park - the car park entrance is at the southern end of Park Road where it meets with Little Anglesey Road. Parking is £3 for a match day programme. The car park will be locked during the match.


The host club are encouraging local spectators and others who can to leave their cars at home and travel to Gosport Park by bus, bike, taxi or car share - or walk!


Havant supporters are being urged to meet at The Ship Anson on Portsmouth Hard where small flags will be handed out to supporters.


Supporters will then use the Gosport Ferry and catch a free Luckett's shuttle bus service (after the coach has brought the team to Gosport Park) with the flag acting as the bus ticket.


For more on this see the Havant RFC website

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