BASINGSTOKE RFC picked up the losing bonus point as they went down 20-13 to visiting Bury St Edmunds in National League Three London at Down Grange on Saturday afternoon.
The home side made three changes to the team which won at Thurrock the previous week, with Steve Osborne, Toby Salmon and fly-half Ryan Trevaskis all coming into the line-up.
’Stoke got off to a dream start as after only three minutes they took the lead.
Tim Richards caught a ball which looked to be heading for touch and from this the impressive Andy Hore broke a couple of tackles and was able to feed Freddie Gleadowe who went over for the try.
The conversion wide out on the right hand touchline was missed by Ryan Trevaskis, but his side still led 5-0.
The advantage was extended three minutes later, as Trevaskis this time found his range with the boot for a penalty.
The home side were dominating, but the visitors were able to slice through their lines and open their own account on 13 minutes as Casey Stone scored a try.
Despite the conversion attempt being in front of the posts, Jesse Rush still managed to miss it.
The home side had a chance to add to their tally, but Trevaskis failed with his second penalty of the game.
Bury then nearly scored a second try, as Stone released Chris Snelling, but Gleadowe came up with a try saving tackle to stop him.
The visitors then missed a penalty from Rush, so it remained 8-5 to ’Stoke at half-time and the game was very much up for grabs.
This was all to change early in second-half as the visitors took control and second two tries in the space of four minutes.
The first came after Matt Edison won a line-out which Bury dominated all day and from this Snelling was able to score.
Rush again failed to convert, but his side now led 10-8 and the advantage was increased when Rush fought his way over under the posts and for the only time in the afternoon the Bury fly-half kicked over the extras.
At this point the home side looked in danger of being over ran, but they struck to their game and tried to build some pressure, but handling errors were costing them dear.
Tim Coghlan started a break, but the ball was dropped and then Hore put in three crunching tackles and forced a turn-over which saw Guy Wilkinson release Richards down the flank, but he put his foot into touch.
With five minutes remaining Rush kicked over his first penalty of the game to make it 20-8.
‘Stoke hit back straight away and with ball going along the line and it was left to Gleadowe to score his second try of the game and Travaskis wide out on the touchline missed the conversion.
Then right at the depth, Bury’s Rush had a chance to steal the losing bonus point from ’Stoke, but he missed the target with his penalty leaving the final score 20-13.
This was the first of three home games on the trot for ’Stoke at Down Grange with Guernsey being the next visitors on Saturday.