Chichester 2s 10 Basingstoke 42

Chichester was the destination for Basingstoke RFC on Saturday as they aimed to right wrongs from the beginning of the year after defeat on the Isle of Wight put a dent in their promotion push.

Eight tries, including a brace from debutant Ben Brill saw the visitors claim a convincing 42-10 victory to move themselves back up to 2nd in Hampshire 2.

‘Stoke scored three unanswered tries in the opening 40 minutes, the first coming from centre Matt Mairs, who was given what may as well have been the freedom of Chichester, after Sean McDermott channelled his inner Finn Russell with an audacious offload to leave Mairs in acres of space to finish beside the posts.

It took a further 15 minutes for the scoreboard to be troubled again, Jake Jagged the man to get the visitors 2nd of the afternoon after some good work from the forwards, on top throughout the afternoon, saw him squeeze through the smallest of holes to dot down on the line.

Despite being in front of the posts the conversion was put wide, but nevertheless a 10-point lead after 25 minutes was more than deserved.

Just as the visitors began to put some good stuff together themselves, a concession of penalties saw them pushed back into their own 22’.

‘Stoke, pinning them in the corner, made the hosts pay as clean line-out ball saw Ben Brill collect and burst his way through the Chichester defence to get his first of the afternoon and see ‘Stoke with a 15-0 lead at the break.

The try bonus point was secured by Brad Titcombe shortly after the break as Matt Mairs try scorer, turned provider, fizzing a long pass across the back line, eventually finding Titcombe in space, who was able to fend off all pursuers and slide into the corner to put the game pretty much beyond doubt.

Two further tries followed before the 60-minute mark, Drew Patterson scoring ‘Stoke’s fifth try as Tom Jeffery gathered Sam Clarke’s chip through, eventually offloading to Paterson to slide in before Alfie Rowley made the hosts pay almost immediately for their misdemeanours, as the referee produced a yellow card for the hosts after spotting foul play in the midfield.

Rowley flew through a gap in the hosts back line, sliding in to give the visitors a 30-0 lead as the final quarter beckoned.

Ben Brill got his second of the match to cap off a great afternoon for the debutant shortly after the restart, another penalty short of the line, taken quickly by Brill saw him burst over to put the game, if it wasn’t already, almost certainly out of sight.

The hosts conceded again whilst down to 14 men as Stephen Ansell completed the scoring for ‘Stoke, finding space at the bottom of a powerful maul to dot down and bring a potential 50 pointer into focus.

Sam Clark ditched the tee, successfully drop kicking his only conversion of the afternoon straight through the middle of the posts to see ‘stoke enter the final 10 minutes with a 42-0 lead.

The game ended with the home side giving themselves something to cheer as they scored two quick tries in the final five minutes.

The second of which was a well worked move as a chip over the top saw the Chichester wing claim the ball and dance around the remaining ‘Stoke defenders.

A positive afternoon, whilst a few points may have been left on the park the performance, much improved from their last match saw a convincing victory for ‘Stoke to put behind them the horror show at Sandown & Shanklin.

Across the park a brace from Dan Bully wasn’t enough for ‘Stoke 2nd XV as they fell narrowly short, 21-19 to Chichester 3s.

FT. Chichester 2s 10-42 Basingstoke, Chichester 3s 21-19 Basingstoke 2nd XV

Tries- Matt Mairs, Jake Jagged, Ben Brill x2, Brad Titcombe, Drew Paterson, Alfie Rowley, Stephen Ansell.