On another bright and rain-free day, Gosport & Fareham Under 13s (the Vikings) took on third-seeded Farnborough in the second round of the Hampshire Cup and won 35-5.

The Vikings were all out nice and early (well, apart from the usual suspect...) and had a good hour's practice before the game.

This was to stand them in good stead although at times there was some sideline head-slapping by the coaches as their immaculate training drills failed to survive first contact.

The first half was a closely contested game with both sides running and tackling hard. Vikings were first on the score board with a move that started with George Middleton taking the quick tap and which saw the ball passed down the line to Tom Robertson who scored in the opposite corner.

The next try was also to the Vikings and followed some hard work by the pack securing a ball which was passed to the opposite wing and then back again to allow Ciaran Meachen to set off on one of his gallops and score his first of the game.

Just as the Vikings were beginning to feel comfortable, Farnborough came back hard.

The Vikings pack went off the boil and Farnborough kept running at the defence and testing the Vikings tackling.

Despite some heroic efforts by some, there was a reminder that poor tackling will be punished.

After a sequence of four missed tackles by the Vikings, Farnborough went over for their first try of the game.

For the latter period of the first half Meachen was off injured and this meant that the Vikings had to work hard to defend their lead against a Farnborough side that had sensed that they could draw level and more.

Fortunately, the Viking spirit prevailed and, despite some excellent play by Farnborough, they were held out until the half-time whistle blew at 10-5 to the Vikings.

During the interval time the Vikings received a bit of a talking to by the coaches and the Vikings went out fired up again.

Meachen had returned from injury and put in a trademark run from his own 22 to score the Vikings' third try soon after kick off.

There followed a period of excellent scrummaging by the Vikings, combined with some determined tackling, resulting in a try that was great to watch.

Once again, hard work by the forwards, ball distributed quickly down the line to Robertson who, when tackled, popped the ball to Meachen who then ran and committed the last of the defenders and passed to Finn Shields who ran in for a true teamwork try.

It was about this time that the team spirit of the visitors seemed to evaporate.

It is worth remembering what happens to teams when their morale goes and they start playing as individuals.

They stopped passing the ball and tried to burst through on their own. This was easily dealt with by the Vikings and the result was lost balls and penalties.

In the latter part of the second half Meachen was let loose again for his third.

This was followed by a quick tap and go by Middleton and earned him his first.

Finally, an excellent tackle into touch by Jack Arnold resulted in the ball being handed to the Vikings who got it out to Meachen for his fourth and the last try of the game.

Overall, it was an excellent effort against tough opposition and one which all the Vikings should feel proud of.

Award winners were:
Tackle of the Week - Jack Arnold
Viking of the Week - George Middleton
Player of the Week - Ciaran Meachen.

An easyWeb site produced by Media 3