FOR the first time in the 14-year history of the Hampshire Plate competition, two non-league sides will contest the final - University of Southampton will play host to surprise package Jersey United Banks in next month's showpiece.

The students made light work of disposing of the challenge of Hampshire Division One side Alresford, scoring six tries to two in their 45-12 win while the Banks produced the biggest shock of all in defeating fancied New Milton & District 25-13 on the Channel Islands.

Ben Creed's Southampton University side were thankful to their defence for keeping out the mid-Hampshire men, their firepower out wide was sufficient to move them towards a comfortable triumph, their second over league opposition.

Chris Davies, the Hampshire Under-20s lock was awarded man-of-the-match but Luke Arron could easily have staked claim with a 100 per cent record with the boot, kicking all six conversions and a penalty.

"We are very excited about the final," said vice skipper James Weeks. "The forwards were brilliant and the backs were excellent, giving us enough to defeat a spirited Alresford team."

As for New Milton, their dream is over as they succumbed again to an unknown Jersey outfit, as they did two seasons ago in the final against Les Quennevais.

Local rivals Alton and Petersfield will meet in the final of the Hampshire Gales Bowl as they comfortably defeated their respective lower league semi-final opposition.

Southampton's hopes of gleaning something from their difficult season faded when they were well beaten by relegation-doomed Alton 30-5 - the city side scoring late on through Alan Butler.

Winston Carter posted a brace from the home side as they proved too quick for the city side, scoring three tries before the interval and another two after the break as the Saints had little in response.

"We tried to rally back but it just didn't happen," said Saints skipper Marcus Coffin, while Alton vice captain Jason Rees was delighted to give his side something to look forward to. "After the season we have had, it is nice to get to the final of this competition."

A hat-trick from young fly-half James Flett eased Petersfield to a 28-13 triumph over Trojans in the other semi-final.

The east Hampshire side wrapped up victory in a ten minute second half period as Flett impressed but Trojans did not give up with skipper Russell Clarke adding another two tries, as he did the previous week.

Hampshire Under-20 scrum-half Adrian Rose was awarded man of the match on his debut but Trojans coach Pete Surtees was disappointed his side did not show more commitment. "Petersfield had that little bit of zip," he said, "and we played like we didn't really care."