BASINGSTOKE RFC’s Griffins made it five wins in a row after a 24-13 victory against visiting US Portsmouth II.
’Stoke dominated most of the first 20 minutes, but it was the visitors who scored first to lead 7-0.
The home side levelled the game as Kofi Butcher called a set play and delivered a great ball to Chris Fryer, who shook off three or four tackles in a 40-metre run, before he offloaded for Chris Dorling to score. Butcher stepped up and kicked over the conversion.
The visitors’ good kicking game pushed Basingstoke back from the re-start, and with some poor discipline, they allowed US back into the game with two penalties.
This woke up the Griffins and just before half-time, Fryer broke through with a great run from 30 metres out and went over. Butcher converted to leave the home side trailing 14-13.
After the break, Dorling went over for his 13th try of the season, which certainly was not unlucky as the Griffins took the lead and controlled the game from this point on.
This was quickly followed up by a great passing move, which involved the backs and forwards and saw young winger Scott Maher score his first try for the club.
The Griffins’ man-of-the-match was Sion Hughes for his tireless running at the visitors’ backline.
Mention should also be made of the home side’s back line of Ben Hall, Butcher, Shaun Fennell and Fryer, who have gelled well as a unit.
Coach Steve Parker said: “Five wins in a row is a great feeling. Every-one is playing well and selection is getting more difficult each week.
“The first half was difficult, as US had great line speed and contested well at the breakdown, testing our resolve.
“We improved massively in the second half and played our game, not theirs.”
Basingstoke RFC’s Cavaliers enjoyed an excellent 41-5 victory over Portsmouth IV.
Fly-half Dean Crossley settled the Basingstoke nerves with an early penalty, which was quickly followed up by tries from Brent Evans and flanker James Hickman.
The Cavs moved the ball well across the backline and new inside centre Soane Toby Falekaono made some great line breaks and brought in other players with some great offloads.
After the break the home side scored further tries from Evans, Luke Robertson and Rob Durham, which Dean Crossley converted, before Portsmouth scored their only try.
The Cavs’ man-of-the-match was scrum-half Evans thanks to his hat-trick of tries.
Coach Chris Hughes said: “It was a great result and thoroughly deserved. We played some great rugby. The forwards worked hard to get some good ball, which was well used by our backs.”
This Saturday, the Dragons are at home to Barking and the Caval-iers entertain Ryde, while the fifths are away to Fawley II.