When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
'Stoke suffer at hands of Old Elthamians
NEWLY promoted Basingstoke RFC’s tough start to their National Three London campaign continued with a third defeat.
Having lost two tough opening league games there was no let up for ’Stoke as they had the daunting task of a visit to Old Elthamians who had won their opening two games with ease.
Champion backed ’Stoke were under pressure in the early stages and went 3-0 down after five minutes to a penalty as the home side showed power and pace.
However, like last week’s game the visitors re-grouped and got themselves back in the game with some enterprising running rugby which saw a good handling movement from the backs produce a 50 metre break.
On 13 minutes, Basingstoke scored the first try of the game to take the lead.
A clearance kick from the home side was gathered by Tom Humberstone who fed Joby Kochanowski just inside his own half.
He went on a superb run to take him to 10 metres from the line and manage to off load the ball to Callum Staff to score. Humberstone added the extras to give his side a 7-3 lead.
The home side missed a penalty on 17 minutes, before ’Stoke again applied pressure in the home side’s 22 but it came to nothing on 20 minutes.
That was as good as it got for Stoke in the first-half as the home side slowly began to dominate in all areas.
On 27 minutes a kick to the corner gave the home team a line out which they duly caught and driven across the line to take an 8-7 lead.
This was extended on 38 minutes following a period of pressure before good hands created space for a converted try to make the half-time score 15-7.
The second-half again saw the home side dominating proceedings and extended their lead on 45 minutes with a well worked try and the conversion.
Old Elthamians went further ahead on 50 minutes with a penalty and then on 57 minutes score another try after playing some powerful keep ball to extend their lead to 30-7.
From the re-start ’Stoke had their best phase of play in the second-half as they re-gathered the kick and made progress to the 22 with a break by Byett.
A penalty was then kicked to touch. They won the line-out and keeping the ball in hands eventually Byett crossed in the corner with Humberstone adding the difficult conversion and reduce the arrears to 30-14.
Once again it was the home side that dominated proceedings and score three further tries in the last 15 minutes as the ’Stoke side started to tire to take the scoreline to 49-14.
At times ’Stoke were an even match with their opponents and when they kept possession they looked dangerous but too often they gave the ball away needlessly, a point that was raised by Croker after the game.
He said: “The ball is the most important thing and we gave it away too often in all areas. Against a side like Elthamians they will punish you if you keep doing that and they did.”
“We have to be clever in how we keep hold of the ball and that goes for set pieces as well as open play or we will not be competitive.
“At times our defence was good but that takes away from our attacking skills which we showed off well on the few occasions we had the ball and kept it.”