With the pitches at Down Grange deemed unplayable, the Redrow backed Basingstoke RFC Academy travelled down the road to local rivals Farnham.

Stoke started strong, with scrum half Jak Pill bossing the forwards around and they carried hard through a number of phases, pushing Farnham back.

In difficult conditions against a very large side, the lighter Stoke pack were tenacious, taking the Farnham scrum to pieces, visiting hooker Taylor Stranney having a great day. Pressure took it’s told and Basingstoke's first try came on 15 minutes and was started by centre Tom Bray's absolute monster kick from the Stoke 22 into the Farnham 5 metre line.

Lock Adam Richards followed up with a storming run before the ball was offloaded to winger Dan Bentall who made a superb pass to Brad Titcombe who dodged a couple of tackles and went over for a great try.

Ollie Rampton nailed the conversion to put Stoke 7-0 up.

Farnham worked hard to get a score of their own, their big forwards crashing into Stoke line again and again, yet they could not break through.

The team defence was superb, the boys communicating well, making sure of no gaps and making some huge tackles. Stoke went into half time 7-0 up.

Farnham started the second half strongly, again testing the Basingstoke line and they finally managed a well taken try from a set piece, working the ball wide at pace, creating an overlap on the far wing they went over for an unconverted score.

This was quickly followed up by a well taken penalty after some difficult work at the breakdown and the hosts were ahead 8-7.

Stoke came back strong, working the ball well, the backline of Paterson and 10, Bray at 12 and Rowley at 13 making plenty of breaks over the gainline, and Jak Pill working his forwards hard with some huge carries from Tommy Parker, Brandon Nurse and Brennan Sharp.

Stoke battered away at the Farnham line and late into the game the second and winning try was scored by Jon Page after a superb line break by Dan Bentall and some strong work at the breakdown, skipper Page dove over for the winning try and a 12-8 victory.

Back of the Match was Alfie Rowley with a great performance at centre, some strong runs as well as great work in defence.

Forward of the Match was loose head prop Tommy Parker who had a superb day in the scrum, dominating the big Farnham tight head, his carrying and tackling was a sight to behold as he broke through again and again.

Stoke Coach Steve Parker said: “That was a proper game, Farnham were a well drilled side and for the first time we faced a team physically larger than us.

"The boys responded superbly, our defensive line was excellent, the communication from all the players, the tackle count, the work rate at the breakdown, was brilliant.

"Our forwards were superb today, creating great platform for our backs who worked hard to break down Farnham.

"The boys never stopped, for the whole game, every single player put in a massive shift and I am very proud of them and the result they have got today.

"Numbers and work at training has been excellent lately, this result and performance along with the win against Vectis last week is putting us in a really strong position."