BASINGSTOKE RFC was denied victory at Westcombe Park, by an injured time converted try as they lost 30-29.
It was a disappointing end to a game, which the visitors had led 17-10 at half-time and 29-23 with nine minutes left.
One positive to come out of the defeat was that they extended the gap over the relegation trio to 11 points with four games to play.
It was the home side who opened the scoring from a penalty and then both sides missed further penalties.
’Stoke took the lead thanks to a Tim Richards’ try after eight minutes. This was after the visitors won the scrum against the head and a lovely passing move saw Richards score in the corner.
The home side hit back with their own score as a break from a centre was stopped just short of the line, but from this they continued to pressure until they went over.
However, it was the visitors who had the final word in the half, as a break from Ryan Davis set-up Gavin Dampies to score.
Then two minutes later, a nice break from Andy Hore saw the ball recycled and Jobi Kochanowski scored and David Byett kicked the converted, which gave ’Stoke a 17-10 lead at the interval.
The visitors increased their lead further as Chris Kiernan scored from a maul from the 22 after a long ball at a line-out.
The visitors looked in a strong position at this point six minutes into the second-half.
However, the home side struck back with a converted try and then two penalties for crossing and coming in at the side of a ruck, to reduce the lead to one.
’Stoke responded immediately from the kick-off, as Andy Flower set-up a break which Matt Guilfoyle carried on and via Kochanowski the ball found its way to Davis to score and Byett kicked the conversion.
That looked to have won the game, but the home side kept coming and from a scrum they forced the ball over and the conversion won them the game.
This week, ’Stoke travel to Tring, ahead of what is fast becoming a relegation showdown with Barnes at Down Grange seven day later.