BASINGSTOKE RFC Ladies put up a superb display as the fledging team with many playing only their second league game, as they gave leaders Trojans a fright narrowly losing 10-5.

As expected the home side gained a good deal of possession, but the Stoke defence held firm with wingers Natalie Eckett and Lucy Sadler in particular, throwing themselves into fierce tackles.

For some 25 minutes the Stoke wall stood firm and had some possession of their own with hooker Nikki Stride comfortably holding her own ball and attacking her opposite number relentlessly.

Trojans finally broke through and scored in the far corner. From the restart Stoke had a number of good phases, with some great carries from forwards Emily Richardson, Spuddy Pearce and Hannah Pulleyn.

 This finally gave some platform to the Stoke backline with scrum half Sheree Cooper able to get some clean ball out to Michelle Pickard who got the whole backline involved, some great line breaks from Hannah Balson and Emma Horner put pressure on Trojans.

The opening exchanges of the second half were even, Stoke very dominant in the scrum yet finding some strong Trojan defence working well at the breakdown to force a few turnovers.

They were struggling to push Stoke back as forwards Zoe Semmens, Annie McMullan and new player Emily Attwood worked hard in the loose, putting in some ferocious tackles and hitting the breakdown hard.

Stoke remained patient and when they had the ball worked hard to get forward, full back Emma Horner combining well with centre Amy Robson to break the gainline, forcing Trojans onto the back foot.

Number 8 Emma Brady was having an excellent game, she forced a penalty at the breakdown which resulted in a line out for Stoke on the Trojans 22.

Lock Pulleyn caught the throw and the pack mauled the ball towards the try line, Cooper took the ball down the blindside, breaking a number of tackles before offloading to Pearce.

She danced around a couple of Trojans players to crash down over the line to level the game at 5-5.

Stoke made a couple of changes, try scorer from the Marlow game Jade Ashford replacing Zoe Semmens and winger Vikki Cheung making her rugby debut in place of Lucy Poynter.

The visitors pushed hard to take the lead, but Trojans soaked up the pressure and then drove the visitor's back working the ball to score a second try.

Stoke finished the game the stronger, but Trojans held firm to win 10-5.

Forward of the match was Pulleyn for some huge tackles, several turnovers and some big carries. Back of the match was Eckett for Great tackling and defence The Ladies coach Steve Parker said: “This was the second game for most of these players, first game for a couple of them, to come here and play the league leaders in their own back yard and match them, woman for woman is incredible, absolutely incredible.

"We’ve worked hard in training since the Marlow game, particularly on our team defence and tackling, you could see that out there today.

"Tackle after tackle from every single player, the whole side working for each other and in attack we worked the ball really well, some great linebreaks and handling.

He added: "The girls are all shattered, they left everything out on that pitch, I could not ask for anymore, I am hugely proud of them.

"This is only the beginning of their rugby journey, but you can see they are improving every week, they work hard in training, we’ve got a superb team spirit, I can’t wait for the next game now.”

The Ladies next game is at home to Harpenden Ladies on Sunday November 13.

Basingstoke RFC Ladies train Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 8.30pm.

New players of all standards are welcome, for more information email