Chris Dorling scores twice as Basingstoke RFC Griffins record victory over Winchester

Basingstoke Gazette: Chris Dorling scores twice as Basingstoke RFC Griffins record victory over Winchester Chris Dorling scores twice as Basingstoke RFC Griffins record victory over Winchester

IT WAS a very good weekend for Basingstoke RFC’s Blue Squad, the collective name for the third, fourths and fifth XVs.

The third XV, the Griffins, consolidated their hold on second place in Hampshire Merit One with a 59-22 win at Winchester.

There were tries aplenty as Glen Magee, Dave Ashford, Chris Dorling (2), Will Jenkins and Dave Wheeler all crossed the line, with some fine conversions by academy graduate Sion Hughes.

Once more, Dorling claimed the man-of-the-match award as he demonstrated excellent link play from the Number 8 position.

This sets the Griffins up nicely for this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash with visiting Andover II.

Elsewhere, the fifths had been threatening a good win for a while and it came against Romsey II as they thumped them 44-5.

Mark Bushnell went over for the first try after just two minutes, which followed some fine slow ball phases from the ’Stoke forwards.

Having Mikey Jacob and the returning Dan Williams at nine and 10 proved a tough combination for Romsey to deal with.

The partnership caused problems all game, with quick ball out of the breakdown and across the backline, allowing tries from Jason Jacob, Mikey Jacob (2) and a first try for Basingstoke RFC Academy’s Matt Boddy, with a great run in on the wing.

Further tries came from Alex Vine and the returning Martyn Bagshaw, who completed the victory with a powerful run in from 10 metres.

Romsey were particularly strong in the scrum and they worked hard all afternoon, which caused a number of problems for Basingstoke, but their defence was well organised and marshalled.

The man-of-the-match was a very tough call, but Dan Williams, on his return to the side after a period out with a knee injury, was in outstanding form at fly-half. His intelligent kicking, great distrib-ution and solid defence capped a great display.

Coach Steve Parker said: “It’s been a tough season so far. We have had 16 injured players, meaning we are unable to field our regular third, fourth and fifth teams.

“This has left us having to put square pegs in round holes, but the squad is working hard for each other, taking each game as it comes and playing some fantastic rugby to boot.”

He added: “This week, we have all three sides out. The thirds are at home to Andover, the fourths are at home to Tottonians and the fifths are making their way to the Isle of Wight.

“We are keen to better our excellent league placings last year and the games in the run-up to the Christmas period are vital.”

The second string had an away walk-over against Bournemouth and this Saturday they are on their travels to Gosport and Fareham.

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