Middlesex makes a winning start in the County Championship02 May 2012
Surrey and Middlesex kicked off the 2012 County Championship Shield with wins as they began their pursuit of a showpiece final at Twickenham Stadium in May.
In the opening round of matches played on Saturday (April 28), Middlesex welcomed Hampshire to Staines and the home team captained by the host club’s fly half Andy Regan won 27-17 with five tries to three. Middlesex started strongly with a series of forward drives taking them into their opponents half before releasing Brunel full back Sam Randall for a fine opening try.
Stout defence kept Hampshire at bay before Middlesex were able to break out and score a great try from flying Staines wing Jon Webber, soon followed by a try from tighthead prop Matt Freeman (Twickenham) converted by Brunel centre Josh Smith for 17-0.
A converted try for Hampshire jolted Middlesex into action shortly before half time and a sweeping move across the backs ended with Saracens Amateurs wing Dominic Smart rounding his opposite number to score in the corner.
Two Hampshire tries threatened to peg Middlesex back in the wind and rain but they sealed the win with a solo effort by Staines replacement back Charlie Burman, and will head next to Crowborough in Sussex this Saturday (May 5) in good heart.
Meanwhile, the 2011 Shield finalists Surrey began with a 20-10 win over Sussex at Sutton & Epsom RFC.