BASINGSTOKE RFC march on to the top of the table with their unbeaten start to the season by pushing aside their table topping rivals.

Stoke welcomed Isle of Wight side Sandown and Shanklin to Pack Lane on Saturday for a top of the table clash in the Hampshire Premier.

In what looked set to be the hosts toughest challenge of the campaign so far, Stoke brushed aside the island team with a 50-0 victory.

Stoke came out the blocks fast with the forwards piling on pressure on visitors and the hosts managed to get on the scoreboard within the first 10 minutes.

James Savine went out wide to open the scoring on the eighth minute.

Five more points were added just two minutes later when good work out wide by Mike West created space in the middle of the field which Kurtis Eagle took advantage of with a perfectly weighted pass to find captain Jon Bird driving through to score close to the sticks and giving Eagle an easy kick to add the further two.

Basingstoke continued to build momentum with some smart tactical kicking from Eagle, which resulted in an error from the visitors on their own line out close to their try line, the resulting scrum saw Simon Appleby pick up the ball, going on to score another converted try.

Sandown looked to get back into the game, applying pressure through the middle of the field, with the visitors looking certain to score a try saving tackles from lose head prop Rhyan Harmon-Scott saw the Sandown player knock the ball on and enabled Stoke to relive the pressure.

However, it didn’t take long for the home side to get back in the driver’s seat for Appleby to score his second try of the game.

A central scrum enabled Appleby to create space for full back Leon Williams on the right wing, whose pace saw him beat several players and produce a bounce pass back inside, which Appleby was able to take advantage of to score his second and get Basingstoke’s try bonus point within 35mins, with Eagle again converting for two.

With only minutes remaining in the half Stoke weren’t done, as George Hemmings switched the ball to Bird to break the line and offload to Appleby who manged to juggle the ball and offload to strong running Brad Turner to score Basingstoke’s final try before half time with Eagle converting to make the score 33-0 at the break.

In the second-half Stoke picked up with where they left off adding to their score nine minutes after the restart.

West broke through the defence out wide causing problems for the Sandown defence who were forced to give away a penalty for a high tackle. Eagle kicked to the corner to present the forwards the platform to catch and drive, Stoke managed to recycle and after a few phases saw winger West coming into the 10 position and score under the posts.

Stoke’s forwards continued to flexed their muscles with Dave Rees going over as result of a rolling maul to bring the score to 45-0, and Stoke weren’t finished their as assistant player coach Dave Lambert finished off the scoring to bring the final score 50-0 and send a strong message to the rest of the league.

Basingstoke now take a five point table topping lead into their away clash to Portsmouth II this Saturday.