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Staffs v Hampshire LIVE

Hampshire secured their first ever victory at Twickenham following a five-try 33-11 triumph over Staffordshire in the Country Championship Shield final.

Hants have dominated the competition this season but they started slowly at a place where they had never previously won.

Their last Shield title came when the match was played in Aldershot but, after a nervous opening, Hants managed to find their feet as tries from Pierre-Alex Clark and Wayne Dugan gave them a 12-point buffer at the break.

Staffordshire hit back through Dan Clarke’s touchdown and a penalty apiece by Charlie Maskrey and Grant Hallam, but Hampshire’s extra quality shone through when Wes Dugan, Joel Knight and Gavin Hart crossed the whitewash in the third quarter.

It was Staffs who controlled the opening exchanges but they failed to produce anything tangible on the scoreboard, despite having three shots at goal in the first 20 minutes.

Hallam and Maskrey both had long range efforts which missed the target and that profligacy was to prove costly.

Craig Wilson’s men continued to dominate possession but a stray pass was intercepted by Clark and the fly-half had the pace to go all the way.

That score evidently lifted Hampshire as a second touchdown was soon forthcoming. Unlike the previous effort, which had a hint of fortune about it, this try was excellently constructed.

Instigated by Wes Dugan, who dummied through a hole and sped away from the would-be tacklers, the scrum-half found his brother out wide and the winger did the rest, stepping inside one defender and handing off another.

Alex Sutherland brilliantly converted from the touchline and Ian Chandler’s team had a 12-0 lead at the interval.

Wilson needed a response from his charges in the second period and he received it as their well drilled pack charged their way to the line.

Clarke was the beneficiary of the drive as they got themselves back into the contest. Hants were now under pressure and conceding needless penalties, infringements Maskrey and Hallam were more than willing to punish having found their range in the second half.

It was suddenly a one-point game and Staffordshire’s spirits were raised by their stirring response, but those hopes were dashed by two tries in five minutes.

Once again, it was the backline that made the difference as Dugan sniped his way through a hole to score before Knight followed suit, taking advantage of Clark’s midfield break.

The centre’s touchdown sealed the victory but Hampshire wanted to finish with a flourish and Hart powered over in what proved to be the final move of the match.

Hampshire

  

  

  
  

  

  

Staffordshire

  

  

  

1 Joe     Tarrant - Bournemouth

1 Kev     Birt – Lichfield

2 Ben     Allman – Bournemouth

2 Dan     Clarke – Lichfield

3 Ken     Dowding - Chichester

3     Danny Poole – Lichfield

4     Alistair Ramus - Tottonians

4     Liam Hucknall – Burton

5     Elliot Worrall – Ivybridge

5 Joe     Gazzard -  Burton

6     Joseph Rees - Bournemouth

6     Jack Neal – Burton

7     Stephen Cruddas - Havent

7 Sam     Longstaff – Longton

8     Gavin Hart - Havent

8 Dan     Smith – Longton

9 Wes     Dugan (captain) – Gosport & Fareham

9 Dan     Jones – Longton

10     Pierre-Alex Clark – Tottonians

10     Lee Borgan (captain) – Longton

11     Curtis Barnes – Portsmouth

11     Nick Palmer – Leek

12     Joel Knight – Havent

12     Richard Fielding - Lichfield

13     Robert Searle – Tottonians

13     Grant Hallam – Longton

14     Wayne Duggan – Gosport & Fareham

14     James Floyd - Leek

15     Alex Sutherland – Bournemouth

15     Charlie Maskrey – Stoke-on-Trent

16     Ryan Wilkie – Portsmouth

16     Brad Eldershaw – Longton

17     Luke Marks – Havant

17     Jack Fielding – Cardiff Met University

18     Darren Crabb – Portsmouth

18     Luke Hardern – Leek

19     Graham Butterworth – Havant

19     Carl Williams – Stafford

20     Harry Dolbear – Tottonians

20     Ashley Martin – Newcastle Staffs

21     Jacob Hiscock – Winchester

21     Will Sant – Stoke-on-Trent

22     Luke Chandler - Bournemouth

22     Joe Maskrey - Longton