RAF Odiham 36 - 44 Southampton Spitfires
Spitfires hang on to lift the Hampshire Cup
Southampton Spitfires skipper Kevin Cant lifted the Hampshire Cup as the south coast side beat RAF Odiham in a best of three series. The RAF won the fist game 24-20 while Southampton leveled the series by winnning at RAF Oidham 46-24. The Spitfires won the deciding game 44-36 after the RAF rallied in the final 20 minutes to scare the visitors.
The RAF started the game the better and strong defense pushed the visitors back. However despite all the early pressure the Spitfires spread the ball wide and Rich O Donnell broke through to feed Richard Hill for the first try of the game making it 4-0 to the Spitfires.Rich O Donnell added the extras to make it 6-0.
The RAF then leveled the game on 21 minutes after back to back sets of six was too much to defend for the Spitfires and the home team scored from close range. The RAF then extended their lead when a high bomb was left to bounce for them to regather. The ball was spun wide and the RAF scored in the corner, missing the conversion to make the score 10 - 6.
With 15 minutes left in the half Southampton got back on the game plan and started to attack the large RAF side on the fringes which resulted in trys from Aaron Nelson, Micheal Cronin and Nick Cazuex. Skipper Kevin Cant was instrumental in all the trys out wide. Rich O Donnell converted just one of the three before having to leave the field with a game ending knee injury. The three quick trys meant the half time scores was RAF Oidham 10 - 24 Southampton Spitfires.
RAF Oidham started well from the kick of and scored straight away making the scores 16-24. The Spitfires replied with a score of their own when a clever kick over was collected by Oli Johnson who went on to score. Micheal Cronin added the extras in the absence of Rich O Donnell making the score 30-16.
The Spitfires then scored twice in a five minute period. Firsty Rich Hill spun out of a tackle on the half way line and went the whole way to score by out-pacing three defenders. Then Aaron Nelson cut a great line and stepped the full back to score out wide extending the Spitfires lead to 38-16.
With the game almost wrapped up on 62 minutes the Spitfires swithced off and let the RAF back into the game as they scored 2 quick trys in the 68th and 70th minute making the score 38-24.
Southampton then woke up and spread the ball out wide to England Back Rower Oli Johnson who cut through to score under the posts. Cronin converted to make the score 44-24.
RAF Oidham with 6 minutes left still had other ideas and went on to score two more trys in the 76th and 77th minute making the score 44-36. With 8 points to score to win the game the RAF threw everything at the Spitfire defence but could not break through leaving the Southampton players to celebrate the final whistle and the title of Hampshire Cup Winners.