'Stoke youngsters claim final place

First published in Sport

BASINGSTOKE RFC’s under-13s reached the final of the Hampshire Bowl with a tremendous 22-3 win over Farnborough at Down Grange.

Dreadful weather and pitch conditions meant that the game began with uncontested scrums but Basingstoke’s handling and work at the ruck was fantastic.

Centre Tom Bray scored all three of the home side’s tries, with each coming after his team-mates drew the defence to create space for him. Ben Connor kicked two conversions and a penalty to complete the scoring.

Another centre scored a hat-trick for the under-16s, Josh Bradley touching down three times as ’Stoke drew 26-26 in a friendly match at home to Trojans.

The Academy did not fare so well, losing 10-5 at home to Guildford.

The visitors’ pack won the day on a cold and muddy afternoon at Down Grange but it was Basingstoke who scored first, scrum-half Max Sears breaking a number of tackles to run in from halfway.

Guildford pulled level with a try of their own just before half-time and scored the winner midway through the second period.

The senior second string continued their excellent season with a 40-0 victory over visiting Oxford II, but it was a tough day for the third and fourth teams.

The thirds travelled to Sandown with just 12 players, went down to 11 at one point and lost 75-0, while the fourths lost 37-10 at home to Andover II.

A number of Basingstoke players have been called up to play for representative sides. Fran Hall and Hannah West have been named in the South East Under-18 girls squad, while Adam Warner and George Cotterell will play for Hampshire under-14s.

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