BASINGSTOKE'S hockey men's fourth team went top of their league beating a determined Fleet and Eweshot 4-1 this weekend writes BECKY DONALDSON. Basingstoke were quick off the blocks and applied pressure for Chris Jenkins to score early on, but took their feet off the peddle giving the opposition an opportunity to squeeze one back. Stoke regrouped for a well-worked second goal before half-time form Jenkins. Two further slick moves saw goals from Jacques Lourens and Greg Smith to finish 4-1 and take the top spot.

With key players managing injuries, the men’s firsts started slowly against Fareham. Early in the game, Basingstoke conceded a penalty corner, which caught a deflection and wrong-footed keeper Toby Jackson in his debut game to put Fareham ahead. Stoke pushed back, but couldn’t finish and Fareham found a way through to take a two goal lead. Fareham worked well and converted another penalty corner after a fine first phase save by Jackson but a Fareham player reacted quickly, to tuck home the loose ball. One reply goal came the way of Will Jewkes, sparking yet more pressure from Basingstoke however despite a tactical change by coach Ryan Casson, the ability to convert eluded Basingstoke, to suffer their second defeat of the season, ending an eight-game unbeaten run.

The men’s seconds dominated against Isle of Wight, but did not take the lead until the second half, a well-taken reverse stick strike from Phil Stewart opening the scoring. The visitors responded quickly with a baseline dribble slipped through and hit past the keeper.

The thirds went down 4-1 to Bournemouth, with Euan Rixson the scorer of Stoke's only goal.

The Vikings played a strong fellow Basingstoke fifth team. It was an even game but with 10 minutes to go, an attacking run from Jonnie Wills with a pass to Karl Neighbour to nutmeg the keeper to give the Vikings the game 1-0.