The Hampshire Worthing-ton's Bowl will once again be heading away from the county mainland as Jersey-based Les Quennevais stormed to an unexpected, but fully deserved, victory over New Milton & District, coming through 41-29 winners.

In a superb game of flowing, running rugby on a perfect spring Sunday in the New Forest, the Hampshire Division One hosts only had themselves to blame for not taking the spoils from the game, proving too accommodating to their unknown opponents.

Too often near the line or on the attack did that ball fly loose through knock-ons or turn-overs and with electric backs, especially full-back Simon Gilley, they were only too willing to take the opportunities presented to them with some panache.

Not that anything should be taken away from Les Quennevais, who were more than a match for New Milton, and were outstanding.

While the game took a while to get going - both sides testing the water having never met before - the outstanding Jamie Ramsey, unfortunate to be on the losing side in the end, was at the head of the majority of the Milton attacks in the opening quarter.

It was only fair that he should score the first try of the afternoon after 26 minutes, but it was quickly cancelled out when, from the restart, Tim Hutchins flew in down the left to level the tallies.

But when Mike Scoular was sin-binned for persistent infringing, LQ took full advantage when Jay Bartle drive and Peter Deffains' excellent pick-up released Richard Briffa through the gap in the defence.

Gilley got on the board for the first time just before the interval for a 17-5 lead when he sliced through under the posts, and was at the forefront of a move from the second half kick-off that took play back deep into New Milton territory.

The reintroduction of Scoular ignited the home side to the tune of Ramsey posting an excellent second and he ran at pace at the defence again shortly afterwards, only for Milton to be penalised close to the line.

It was the story of their endeavour that whenever they got close, they gave it away, whereas LQ made no mistake each time.

An awesome piece of individual skill from Gilley, weaving in and out, left and right of any would-be tacklers extended their advantage, as did Gary Rousseau's conversion and penalty before a midfield mix-up presented the former Jersey first teamer with his hat-trick.

Ramsey was not to be outdone in the scoring stakes when he picked up and drove over with less than a quarter remaining for his third, but his opposite number went one ahead when Steve Broomfield knocked on and Gilley left the defence well adrift.

A late resurgence, with Milton being awarded a penalty try for off-side close to the line and replacement Dan Oliver rounding off a good move by the youthful back division, gave the scoreline a closer look - but Les Quennevais had the game well won by then.

It was a remarkable turn of events for the non-league Channel Islanders, who were in danger of folding just six months ago and skipper Nick Durbano was dumbstruck. "Totally amazing," he said. "We did not know what to expect by coming over here.

"But once we settled, we took control and, on going 34-17 up and then 41-17 in the second half, we had them. We dropped away a bit at the end, but I am absolutely delighted.

"We only came over to Fawley for the quarter-final for a laugh, because we had not come over to the UK as a team before. But to win the competition is fantastic for Les Quennevais Rugby Club."

His opposite number, Matt Rule, described the game as "probably the most enjoyable, clean but hardest game of rugby that we have played this season," but was desperately disappointed the result did not go his side's way. "It was a cracking game with both sides playing exceptionally well, but they capitalised on our mistakes and that cost us. Too many times did we make errors that they picked up, especially their full-back, and scored from," he explained.

So, the first Hampshire competition trophy is heading back to the Channel Islands, after Guernsey won it last year. Jersey have the chance of making it a double in a fortnight, when they meet Basingstoke in the Cup final.

But for Les Quennevais, they will look back on their day on the mainland with great pride and many memories amongst their 60-strong support - that is if they can remember it after their celebration party in Southampton last night!