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REPORT - Basingstoke 10 Guernsey 14
BASINGSTOKE RFC were unable to complete a league double over Guernsey, but pushed the visitors all the way, before going down 14-10 at Down Grange.
Guernsey opened the game the better and scored their first try after seven minutes, as Nick Merrien went over and Sam Whitehead kicked the extras.
In the opening 40 minutes, 'Stoke found it hard to get out of their own half and were called upon to produced some stout defending on their own goal line to stop the visitors adding to their score.
However, Guernsey added a second try as Shane Taylor cut through the 'Stoke line and fed Sam Stables to score.
Whitehead added the conversion to make it 14-0 and this was the score at half-time.
After, the interval a nice break from Chris Kiernan set-up a penalty attempt by Ryan Trevaskis from 20 metres out, but he put the kick wide of the posts.
The conversion wide on the touchline was missed, but the home supporters took heart that their team was back in the game.
The game then became a midfield battle with neither side threatening to add to their score.
In the first game on the Channel Islands two tries in the last nine minutes, had won the game for Basingstoke, and repeat performance looked on when 'Stoke scored on 71 minutes.
Job Kochanowski started the move and fed Tim Richards who was tackled just short of the line.
The home side drove to the line again, but were stop and for a third time, before the ball was passed along with the line and Kochanowski fought his way in.
With Trevaskis now off the field, David Byett took the conversion, but missed to leave the score 14-10.
Spurred on by their score, 'Stoke looked for the winning try and their cause was helped when Guernsey's Darrin Bellingham was yellow carded.
However, the visitors defence stood tall and in the final minutes of the game they kept possession to run the clock down.
For Basingstoke they can take heart from another losing bonus point, but with Westcombe Park winning on the weekend, they slipped down the table to just above the relegation zone.
'Stoke complete a trio of home games when second place Old Elthamians are the visitors this Saturday.