BASINGSTOKE RFC Academy side celebrated their first game in the cage with their fourth win on the trot with a 24-19 success over visiting Eastleigh.

A much changed Stoke side meant Eastleigh started the better, with some great running from their large pack, the pressure resulting in a penalty try for a high tackle from the home side which was converted by the visitors.

Stoke responded with a series of strong drives of their own, working well together to keep possession with hooker Taylor Stranney going over after some solid teamwork, Leon Williams narrowly missing the conversion.

The home side began to look more organised, scrum half Tom O’Driscoll feeding good ball to fly half Drew Paterson, who marshalled his backline well, putting together some great phases of running rugby.

A Stoke scrum on the Eastleigh 22 saw Paterson make a great line break, shaking off a couple of tackles before offloading to full back Alfie Rowley to power over, putting the home side deservedly back in front with Ed Pearson slotting the extras.

The home side really pushed on and the ball was moved quickly through the backline, a superb kick chase from winger Ollie Rampton saw him dive over for his first try of the season, the extras converted by Williams. However, Eastleigh replied to make it 19-12 at half-time.

After the break, it was a fairly even contest as the sides swapped one try each.

Stoke loose head Ben Connor took a great ball from Ed Pearson, crashing through a series of tackles and challenges he made over 30 yards before a superb offload to Drew Paterson who shook of a couple of challenges and went over the line.

Eastleigh went over for a try and went after another score and only a try saving tackle from Jordan Strudwick in only his second game at flanker stopped them from breaking through.

Head Coach Steve Parker said: “That was a tough game, we had to work hard for the win today. There were plenty of positives though, and for a lot of the guys not involved in our Division One games, this was their chance to shine, they certainly did not let me down.

"It’s the mark of a good side that even when not playing all that well, they can still score and put the opposition under pressure.

He added: "We were perhaps a little too eager to impress today, it’s tough keeping a winning run going and we were under pressure from a very good Eastleigh side.

"However, we kept at it, kept going and showed that we had the quality in the end. I’m pleased with the result and thankfully this week we did not pick up any more injuries!”

The Academy is open to all boys in School Years 12 and 13, training is on Tuesday and Thursday 7.30pm to 9pm and Sunday from midday until 2pm.