Victory over promotion rivals delights 'Stoke coach

Basingstoke Gazette: Freddie Gleadowe on the way to scoring his and 'Stoke's second try. Freddie Gleadowe on the way to scoring his and 'Stoke's second try.

BASINGSTOKE RFC gave their hopes of promotion from London One South a major boost with a vital victory over Chichester.

Freddie Gleadowe touched down twice and there was also a try for Gareth Kelly as ’Stoke produced an outstanding team performance to beat their promotion rivals 26-16 at Down Grange on Saturday.

With East Grinstead looking set to run away with the title and the one and only automatic promotion spot, Basingstoke and Chichester are the main contenders to fight it out for second place – and the chance to go up via a play-off.

Despite Saturday’s result, the Sussex side remain second– but Basingstoke are now only one point behind them.

’Stoke director of rugby, James Croker, said: “There’s only one point in it now, so it’s all to play for. We are right back in the hunt for promotion.

“Overall, it was a tremendous performance. We had complete control of the game for the whole 80 minutes and once we got ahead, there were always two scores between the sides.

“There is just a five per cent niggle that we should have got the four-try bonus point because we were dominant in the last five minutes. Had we got it, we would be in second place now.”

Chichester are renowned for the power of their pack and must have fancied their chances on a damp and dreary afternoon in north Hampshire – but the home forwards more than matched them.

“We managed to play our own game rather than worry about them and our pack was outstanding, pushing Chichester all over the park,” an ebullient Croker added. “We controlled the mauls and, while they had pressure in the corners, they could not get over the line.

“Having our first-choice half-back pairing back also made a huge difference. Jamie Fish at scrum-half and Adam Davies at fly-half both contributed massively, while we were strong in midfield.”

The victory was the first Basingstoke have achieved under Croker against a side in the top four of the table – and the ’Stoke coach is now looking for his side to kick on.

“Getting the win is massive for us, both mentally and in terms of the league standings,” he said. “We have got a super-talented group of lads, who are fantastic to work with.

“They needed that result and hopefully this one big win can propel them to the next level of their development.”

See The Monday Gazette, on sale now, for a full report and more pictures from Basingstoke’s excellent victory.

Comments (2)

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3:53pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Will Croker says...

Dear AVG3, some of your wise words!

Mate you really need to have a word with whoever writes this. Mate you are not one of the best 2 sides in this league, one of the best 5 yes, but top 2 no mate so please stop it who are you trying to kid.You were not one of the best 4 last year as Guernsey Oe's and Chic proved. Please stop writting rubbish like this mate, you have next to no chance of going up this season.
Just for once show some respect to the sides above you.”Its what started this chat at the start of the season and i have been proved to be correct so far, you will again not beat a top 4 side this year, mark my words!”

Its what started this chat at the start of the season and i have been proved to be correct so far, you will again not beat a top 4 side this year, mark my words!”

Let me tell you your future and see how close we are in a few months time. You will now go on a winning run beating sides that really are not very good Trojans, Beckenham, Old Colfes etc etc and then you will be quoted as to how great your side is and how you are going to win the league and the one above.You will then play a top 3 side, lose and it will be game over for another season.

You will for the second year running not finish in the top 3 and then claim all summer how unlucky you are.The fact is Mr Croker either you or the side or both are clearly not good enough

So after berating us for showing a lack of grace, I look forward to your response. After all this really must have come as quite a shock! Still a long way to go but as you have repeatedly reminded us Sidcup and Wimbledon are very tough places to go! Should be a fascinating run in!!
Dear AVG3, some of your wise words! Mate you really need to have a word with whoever writes this. Mate you are not one of the best 2 sides in this league, one of the best 5 yes, but top 2 no mate so please stop it who are you trying to kid.You were not one of the best 4 last year as Guernsey Oe's and Chic proved. Please stop writting rubbish like this mate, you have next to no chance of going up this season. Just for once show some respect to the sides above you.”Its what started this chat at the start of the season and i have been proved to be correct so far, you will again not beat a top 4 side this year, mark my words!” Its what started this chat at the start of the season and i have been proved to be correct so far, you will again not beat a top 4 side this year, mark my words!” Let me tell you your future and see how close we are in a few months time. You will now go on a winning run beating sides that really are not very good Trojans, Beckenham, Old Colfes etc etc and then you will be quoted as to how great your side is and how you are going to win the league and the one above.You will then play a top 3 side, lose and it will be game over for another season. You will for the second year running not finish in the top 3 and then claim all summer how unlucky you are.The fact is Mr Croker either you or the side or both are clearly not good enough So after berating us for showing a lack of grace, I look forward to your response. After all this really must have come as quite a shock! Still a long way to go but as you have repeatedly reminded us Sidcup and Wimbledon are very tough places to go! Should be a fascinating run in!! Will Croker

9:01am Tue 15 Jan 13

avg3 says...

Well Crokes and Junior.
Firstly glad to see you are on the mend Crokes.
Secondly well played. Looks like you are coming good.
If i had a hat on i would doff it to you before i eat my large slice of humble pie.
Fair play to you Junior by coming on and giving me some banter it was always going to happen at some stage and i had it coming so no worries about that.
All i will say it 2 out of your next 3 games are on the road. Both played in bowls at Hove and Dover, now you have got a shot don't muck it up, both away games will throw up different styles of play.
What i will say Junior is this your first win against a top 3 side in 2 seasons mate.
Once again well done, but the fat lady has not sung yet!

Avg3
xx
Well Crokes and Junior. Firstly glad to see you are on the mend Crokes. Secondly well played. Looks like you are coming good. If i had a hat on i would doff it to you before i eat my large slice of humble pie. Fair play to you Junior by coming on and giving me some banter it was always going to happen at some stage and i had it coming so no worries about that. All i will say it 2 out of your next 3 games are on the road. Both played in bowls at Hove and Dover, now you have got a shot don't muck it up, both away games will throw up different styles of play. What i will say Junior is this your first win against a top 3 side in 2 seasons mate. Once again well done, but the fat lady has not sung yet! Avg3 xx avg3

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