After seven weeks out of rugby due to a red card suspension, Gosport & Fareham's Wayne Dugan returned with a vengeance and scored a try hat-trick as Hampshire comfortably beat Dorset & Wilts 46-13 in the County Championship opener at Gosport Park on Saturday writes Brian Seeney.

Local hero Dugan put on a show that matched the show his club put on in staging their first ever County game.

He put aside the frustrations of sitting on the sidelines since mid-March to score at the start and end of the first half (10 and 34 minutes) and then 90 seconds into the second half.

His tries either side of half-time sank the visitors in match that was entertaining from start to finish when his club shone just as brightly with a successful pre-match lunch, the pitch grass mown and looking perfect on a sunny Gosport afternoon in front of a big crowd.

"The lads played well. At 10-8 (after 25 minutes) I was thinking just relax lads, then Wayne comes up with a hat-trick," said County team manager Simon Burns.


The Gos posse - a big Gos presence with Hampshire on Saturday. Back row (from left) Neil McRoberts (assistant coach), assistant manager Rob Batley, Simon Burns, Dave Lewis (kit man), and Chris Jones (assistant coach and Gos Under 15s). Front: Wes Dugan (Captain), Sean Shepherd (ex-Gos and now Chichester RFC), Wayne Dugan and mascot Fergus Carle (Under 11s). Photo: Lisa Webb of Elite Photography and courtesy of the Gosport Globe More photos in The Globe this Friday.

"At half time we were in control of the game and the boys wanted to get two quick tries and kill the game off and that's what they did.

"They've done really well and I'm really pleased for them. The side got the result they deserved and they've really gelled well."

Burns, who is an ex-Gos player and coach, praised his former club saying: "It is as if I've never been away (at Havant and US Portsmouth). It is such a friendly club.

"Today has proven that Gosport & Fareham can put on a show if given the chance. It is really good and I'm really pleased for the lads and for the club who have really hosted us very well.

"The lads came off the pitch saying 'we can do better than that' which is really pleasing to hear. We have empowered the players and they have really taken it on today."

Hampshire go to Reading next Saturday to play Berkshire, looking for the second victory that will take them into the semi-final stages of the County Championships.


County skipper Wes Dugan leads out the Hampshire team with mascot Fergus Carle from Gosport & Fareham Under 11s. Photo: Lisa Webb Elite Photography and courtesy of the Gosport Globe More photos in The Globe this Friday

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