BASINGSTOKE RFC finished their first campaign in London Three South West in a very creditable fifth place.

For Stoke, who have suffered relegations in recent seasons, this campaign showed some great strides in the right directions.

Captain Robbie Northcote agreed and said: “Regarding our season I could not be more proud of the guys after the previous season some of the lads had to endure.

“I think the teams got a lot better and we continued to gel throughout the season.

"There’s still plenty of work to do which is exciting for a club as we look to continue the momentum in this rebuilding phase.”

He added: “A big goal for this season was to win more games than we lose which we did by winning 13 out of 22 games.”

This could well have been even more, but team availability and consistency was a bit of an issue.

Looking back over this season, Stoke have turned in some outstanding performances and a few gutsy wins.

Northcote said: “A couple of wins that stick out for me are the away win against Old Tiffinians.

"This is where we won the game in the final play of the game with a length of the pitch drive where pretty much everyone in the team touched the ball.

“Another great win was the home game against Old Cranleighans after the Christmas break.

"We lost the away fixture and played a very clever home game to win a close game.

“The last win that will stick with me will be the away trip to US Portsmouth, when everything seemed to click and we ran in some superb tries.”

In Stoke’s final game they found visiting champions Farnham too hot to handle as they lost 59-5, as Brent Evans scored their only try.

He picked up a loose pass and ran the entire length of the pitch for Stoke's final score of the season.

The loss saw Stoke finished fifth in the London Three South West table with 13wins from their 22 games.

Northcote said: “The result against Farnham was by no means one we wanted to finish the season on but you can’t take anything away from them.

“They are top of the table for a reason, they’re a very well drilled team, who will be very successful in the league above.”

Meanwhile, Stoke captain Northcote will be hoping his side will be challenging for promotion next season.