THREE tries were not enough for Basingstoke to claim their first win of the season as missed opportunities cost them the game against Weybridge Vandals

As so often seems to be the case for Basingstoke it was another slow start which allowed the visitors to get an early lead.

Two tries in the first 10 minutes saw Weybridge gain an early 10-0 lead. The first coming from a costly handling error by Basingstoke as they attempted to clear their own lines which allowed the visitors to score an easy try in the corner to get the opening score of the afternoon. Their second came shortly after as a misplaced clearance from Basingstoke winger Tani Tala saw his clearance land straight out of play and the visitors had themselves a lineout inside the 22’.

Despite Basingstoke causing some disruption at the lineout they gave away a penalty and Weybridge, again, found the corner, this time on the other side of the field as despite his attempts Alfie Rowley was unable to ease the Weybridge winger into touch.

Another missed conversion saw them lead 10-0 with less than 10 minutes on the clock.

Following the second try there was a lengthy break for a Weybridge injury, though this appeared to perk them up and very quickly they were scoring their third as the scrum restart saw them produce a simple move along the back line and another try in the corner. 15-0 with 20 minutes on the clock.

Eventually Basingstoke began to put some pressure on the Weybridge line but the handling errors were starting to mount up and the hard work gaining territory was beginning to be undone. Weybridge pulled further clear with a penalty kick to lead 18-0 after some backchat cost Basingstoke extra yardage.

Eventually though after a number of penalties from the Weybridge side Basingstoke got their reward as John Williams found himself finishing off a move which started with scrum half George Hemmings breaking through the visitors defence. Jordan Plenderleith looked to be the man on the end of the offload, but Weybridge were able to keep him out.

That though was not the case with John Williams who was able find the gap and flop over the line to get the hosts on the board. The missed conversion meant Basingstoke still trailed by 13 points.

Like London busses, you wait for one and another comes along soon after, and this was the case with Basingstoke immediately adding their second of the afternoon and the comeback was on.

This time Stephen Ansell made a miraculous recovery, picked himself off the ground and finished what again began with what can only be described as an audition for strictly by Rhyan Harmon-Scott as he danced his way around the Weybridge defence and won Basingstoke a penalty as the visitors’ eagerness to prevent the hosts from scoring, saw them give away a penalty.

Ansell fastest to react and from being down injured just moments earlier he was soon adding to Basingstoke score and narrowed the gap further. Basingstoke trailed 10-18 as the whistle blew to end a topsy Turvey first half.

The second half started as the first ended, aggression from the home side and they were soon camped in the Weybridge 22’ where they were for much of the second half.

The only score coming shortly after the restart as Jordan Plenderleith finished off a forwards move from a lineout and finding a gap big enough for him to squeeze through to reduce the visitors lead to 1 point. It was a cagey second half with no further scores, but Basingstoke were on top for most of the half.

Again, it was handling errors that cost the home side, but decision making was a part of the inability to complete what would have been a great comeback win. Some strong defence from the visitors combined with some questionable decisions made short of the try line on several occasions, meant that it was Weybridge who left Down Grange the victors and putting to bed their last-minute defeat here 2 seasons ago.

FT in a tight contest saw Basingstoke take a losing bonus point as they look ahead to Petersfield next Saturday in search of that long awaited first win.