BASINGSTOKE RFC travelled to South to Portsmouth in the Hampshire Vase final against Millbrook RFC for a scintillating finally to the season, writes BRAD TURNER.

Having wrapped up the league this was the last run out of the season for super Stoke who had already beaten Millbrook twice this year, the second victory by a margin of 50 points a few weeks ago.

Basingstoke kicked off against the strong wind to open proceedings and immediately took control of the game. As has been the norm this season, ‘Stoke took the majority of the opening possession using strong runners around the park.

At 5 minutes in, a smart move in the back line saw winger Carl Hayward break the Millbrook defence and cover 40 metres before being hauled down just short of the try line. Scrum half Hemmings managed to pick out Brad Turner from the following ruck who managed to power over the whitewash to open the scoring.

The score sat at 5-0 when Stoke started to let Millbrook get back into the game. Poor discipline and some weak defence saw Millbrook work up the field and take 3 points from a penalty to make it 5-3 to Basingstoke.

This breathed some life into the opposition who used the momentum to regain the ball from kickoff and do the same again. This time being rewarded with a try for their efforts. Conversion scored, the score was now 5-10 to Millbrook.

Stoke slowly worked back into the game with strong running from Guy Pope and Sam Goddard before they again got over the line through young centre Alfie Rowley.

Rowley followed a strong line break and took the ball under the posts which was duly converted by Kurtis Eagle to make the score 12-10 to Basingstoke.

George Hemmings then managed to get a score himself from close range minutes later. Following some strong picks from the forwards, the scrum half managed to dot over the line to make it 17-10 to ‘Stoke at half time.

The second half showed to be a close affair, with both teams bringing the physicality. Millbrook managed to gain some possession and power over the line 10 minutes into the half, making the score 17-15 to Stoke after the conversion was missed. It remained at this for a nail-biting 30 minutes as Basingstoke managed to grind out a victory.

Credit to Millbrook who were a different team to the ones seen a few weeks ago, but it was Basingstoke who took the cup and secured the Double for the year.