IT just was not to be again for hapless Millbrook.

Once more they failed to deliver on the big stage, slipping to defeat in the final of the Hampshire Caffrey's Bowl for the third time as Guernsey made sure the trophy took flight last night.

Despite winning the second half 7-5, Millbrook were always playing catch-up as the Channel Islanders opened up a chasm in the first half hour through their ever impressive backs.

The lessons Millbrook learned the previous week in the league defeat rose again as they gave too much space and too much ball to Guernsey's strength, which saw centre Adrian Relph increase Stuart Lloyd-Jones' early penalty advantage.

Millbrook came back strongly through one of their outstanding players on the field, prop Sonny Bedwell. But Dominic Sales's pass to winger Richard Wyre was telegraphed enough for Andy Bailey to intercept and scoot 60 metres to the line.

The score deflated the hosts, whose heads visibly dropped as they saw the orange number 11 on Bailey's back disappear under the posts.

Wayne Allen, surprisingly taking the kicking duties from regular boot man Dave Owens, slotted a penalty to get Millbrook on the board but immediately from the kick-off, Allen's poor clearance found Guernsey hands. Scottish Exiles full-back, Gareth Andrews, a livewire at scrum-half, switched on the gas to carve a path to the line, which Lloyd-Jones converted for a 22-3 half-time lead.

Some stern words from coach, manager and captain and a mass gathering in the Millbrook huddle lifted spirits and they came out a revitalise side, coming close on a couple of occasions early on.

However, some desperately poor tackling and silky handling from Guernsey put the game beyond doubt. From a line-out on the opposite side of the pitch, the ball found winger Steve Burt to soar down the right wing, shrugging off the weak attempts to stop him.

Finally, Millbrook woke up and began to create some chances. And they were rewarded when Bedwell led a forwards drive to emerge with the ball in hand. Allen kicked the conversion to give the home side hope but it was too late.

Manager Alan Day was very disappointed, not with the team's performance but with their commitment off the field. He was particularly scathing: "If you want to come away with a winner's medal in a game like this, you have to put the effort in.

"We had one first team back training on Tuesday night. With that kind of commitment, we are never going to win anything."

On the game, he felt his side finished the stronger of the two. "I was pleased with the way we ended the match, but am gutted that we couldn't reverse our cup final fortunes."

Guernsey's jubilant skipper Johnny Morris felt this trophy was the culmination of a very fine season for the men from St Peter Port, "This is probably one of the best seasons the club has had and it is great to take the Bowl home with us.

"That is a great tribute to our coach, Dave Wallis who has put in so much work and motivates the side so well. He was the only person I could hear out there today!

"However, Millbrook were the better team for 50 minutes, but thankfully our defence held out."