Basingstoke defeated Havant 19-8 to retain the Hampshire Caffrey's Cup yesterday, but the game itself was as bleak and depressing as the weather became during the second half.

The crowd, perhaps because of the late kick-off was thinner than for a Hampshire final for many years, but those who stayed away probably did the best thing.

The match was littered with errors from start to finish and was a very poor advertisement for the game from supposedly the two best sides in the county.

Basingstoke deserved their victory because they succeeded in what they set out to do.

"It went how we planned having had Havant watched last week," confirmed coach Trevor Evans.

"We knew we'd be stronger in the scrum and we'd worked on that during the week."

That was very true because Havant struggled upfront throughout and spent the game living off scraps of possession.

"We had pinpointed their weaknesses as being there and in defending on the short side, and both tries came from these," added Evans.

The first arrived when Dave Lambert and Jamie Palmer combined down the short side and the forwards then quickly recycled the ball at the breakdown.

This was then swiftly moved to Denville Elleston who scored on the opposite side of the pitch - the only time Basingstoke really put a flowing move together.

Grant Taylor got the second try when, with their pack under pressure, Havant made an error and he pounced on the loose ball to hack it over the line before falling on it.

Earlier, two Syd Claffey penalties and a Lambert drop goal had given Basingstoke a 9-0 interval lead with wind advantage.

However, Havant had had their chances. Joint coach, Dave Cook said: "We paid for missing a couple of chances in the first-half. It was always going to be close and you must take your chances."

As it was, Havant had to settle for a Nick French penalty and a late try from Adam Jewitt for their scores despite putting together more constructive moves than Basingstoke. Cook admitted, "Their pack was too strong for us and nullified our backs, although we finished the game strongly."

we won the cup! Basingstoke celebrate beating Havant in yesterday's turgid Hampshire Caffrey's Cup Final, thus successfully defending the title they won last year.