CHINEHAM RFC suffered the heartbreak of losing their Hampshire Plate final after extra time 14-11 to the visiting Fareham Heathens.

A bumper crowd flocked to May’s Bounty to watch what turned out to be a titanic battle of enthralling rugby, between two well matched sides, despite the fact Fareham Heathens play in a higher league.

The visitors got off to a good start kicking down the slope as Tom Baxter’s run was ended after he was doubled teamed by Matt Lingham and Kris Ford.

The Heathens kept up the pressure and were awarded a penalty which Cam Guthrie kicked between the posts with five minutes gone.

The Chineham Lions roared back and a good run by Ford gave them good field position and as Fareham tried to kick the ball away due to the strong wind it just went backwards and the home side’s Sam Davies caught the ball and moved the ball along the backs until it was overthrown into touch.

The home side started to dominate possession with phrase after phrase, but they were unable to break the visitors defence.

Fareham broke out and Jonny Stoppard weaved his way up the pitch, but Sam Goodall produced a try saving tackle and the danger was cleared.

On Chineham’s next attack Kieran Daly chipped the ball forwards toward the posts, but unfortunately, it went under them and out of play, as Goodall led the chase to get the touchdown.

The last attack of the opening 40 minutes saw Fareham’s Ryan Keary break down field, but Connor Ford pushed him out of play so the score at half-time was 3-0.

The home side now kicking down the slope made a great start after the break as Goodall kicked the ball deep and from line-out Tom Scoble drove the team forward. The ball was eventually thrown along the line and Kris Ford went in at the corner for the try.

The conversion with the wind conditions tight to the touchline was a difficult one, but Goodall only just missed it so Chineham had to settle for a 5-3 lead.

The home side looked in control and Goodall added a penalty after 56 minutes from 24 metres out to extend the advantage to five points.

Fareham could feel the tie slipping away, but hit back with a couple of attacks and from one them they were awarded a line-out, which the visitors dominated all game thanks to Matt Smith.

He won the ball and speedy PeeJay Mawi was released and he fed Jashar Solanki to score.

Once again a tricky conversion was missed, this time by Guthrie so the sides were locked at 8-8.

Chineham hauled themselves back into the game and a lovely move looked to set to yield another try, but it was not to be as Daly knocked-on.

They kept up the pressure and Ford went over the line, but was unable to ground the ball and so as the game remained 8-8, it went into extra time.

Fareham started kicking down the slope and were first to score thanks to a Guthrie penalty.

The home side replied as a kick up field by Davies forced a line-out and from this the home side were awarded penalty which Goodall slotted over to make it 11-11.

The visitors again took the lead in the second session of extra time, as Guthrie slotted over a penalty from 37 metres out.

When Chineham were presented a kickable penalty they kicked to the corner as they knew if the scores were level at the end of extra time the away team would win.

However, they were just unable to get the ball over the try line and win the game.

On the plus side with the promotion this season they will face Fareham in the league next season and they finished fifth which should give Chineham some confidence ahead of next season.