BASINGSTOKE RFC won their opening league game of the season for the first time in four years as they beat visiting Alresford 20-13.

The home side made to work hard for the victory in the first game in the new Hampshire Premiership.

Alresford came with a good set piece and scored the only points in the first 40 minutes with a penalty.

After the interval, Basingstoke finally got into their flow.

Kurtis Eagle kicked a penalty and then, Dave Rees scored a brace of tries and there was also a final try from Brad Turner, which was converted b Eagle.

The try bonus point may have did elude them, but the 20-13 win meant that it was Stoke’s first opening day victory since Dover at home in September 2014.

This Saturday, Stoke are at home again and will face a strong test against visiting Sussex side Bognor.

They finished second in Hampshire One last season and opened their league campaign last weekend with an excellent 39-5 win at home to Millbrook, who finished one place below them last term.

Availability this weekend will see more competition for places for the first and second team with several players now available after holidays, work commitments and injury saw them miss out on Saturday.

The second team are also at home to Stoneham this Saturday and both games kick-off at 3pm.