A HAT-TRICK from Cam Prayag and a brace from Simon Appleby saw ‘Stoke run out convincing winners on the road at Fordingbridge.

The afternoon of Saturday, September 30, didn’t start the best as the home side scored twice inside the opening five minutes, the first coming after an error from ‘Stoke number 8 Appleby allowed Fordingbridge to breach the ‘Stoke defence and score in the corner. They added their second shortly after with missed tackles costing ‘Stoke dearly giving the hosts their first points of the season to lead 10-0 inside five minutes.

‘Stoke eventually woke up and responded with two quick tries of their own, Patrick Stranks opened the scoring before Matt Mairs was put through a gaping hole and gave ‘Stoke the lead. Both were converted by fly half Adam Warner giving ‘Stoke a 14-10 lead inside 20 minutes.

Two further tries came before the break to secure the try bonus point for the visitors as Prayag scored his first of the day using his pace to burst down the touchline, this was followed by Ethan Bushnell getting his name on the score sheet on the stroke of half-time to secure the bonus point before the break.

‘Stoke led 24-10 entering the second half and the hosts soon made the afternoon more difficult for themselves as they were reduced to 14 men after a cynical foul inside the ‘Stoke 22’ saw the referee reach to his pockets for the first of what was to be four yellow cards in the half. Fordingbridge soon paid the price as ‘Stoke took advantage with Prayag going over for his second of the day and Appleby added the sixth try of the day not long after to increase the lead to 36-10 with plenty of time still left on the clock. 

A second yellow card followed soon after for the hosts after numerous warnings from the referee and again two ‘Stoke tries shortly followed. Jake Jagged finding a gap and diving over for the 7th of the day before Cam Prayag completed his hat trick on a great afternoon for the winger.

Two more yellows followed for the hosts as they ended the game with 13 men.

‘Stoke added two more before the final whistle, with Appleby getting his brace thanks to some great work by the forward pack and Sean McDermott bursting through the home side defence completing the rout for a 10-try victory for the visitors (full time Fordingbridge 10-58 Basingstoke).

Results elsewhere meant that the bonus point win saw ‘Stoke head to the top of Hampshire 2 as they look ahead to a three-week break before welcoming Chichester to Down Grange at the end of October.