BASINGSTOKE made it nine wins from nine in the league with a win over Eastleigh at the weekend, in a fixture that could have been a potential banana skin for Stoke.

Following last week’s cup loss at home, a much-changed Stoke side fronted up well in the match on Saturday and took an early lead with converted Simon Appleby try, which 15 minutes later was followed by a try from scrum half George Hemmings.

Appleby then grabbed his second try of the afternoon converted by Kurtis Eagle making it 21-0 to the travelling side who were running rampant.

As Stoke looked to pick up where they left off in the second half, the impressive Appleby soon completed his hat-trick and got the try bonus point via a penalty try.

Eastleigh had no answer for Appleby who was soon across the tryline again to score as Stoke raced to a commanding lead of 42 points.

Eastleigh didn’t give up and managed to have a good spell of 10 minutes, scoring three quick tries to pull 19 points back.

Russell Northcote then got on the score sheet with his first try, this soon followed by a Jamie Prior try.

Northcote wasn’t going to let Appleby have all the fun as he managed to score a further two to also get a hat-trick.

The 64-24 away win helped keep Stoke’s impressive winning league form going and set them up well as we move into December where Basingstoke next opponents are Tottonians at home.

Stoke then have a further two tricky away fixtures against Millbrook and then Bognor before the New Year.