BASINGSTOKE RFC put in a strong display with two early tries against the league leaders Reeds Weybridge, but eventually succumbed to a side chasing 50 wins in a row losing 37-12, writes CHRIS PRITCHARD.

With Storm Dennis showing his teeth it was Reeds Weybridge who left Down Grange with the bonus point win, but they were made to work damn hard for it.

The game started with Stoke making a break from kick off after a bouncing ball fell to the hands of John Williams who made good yardage into the Reeds half. Weather can be a great leveller but you certain could not blame the weather for the opening score which saw Stoke given a number of penalties inside the Reeds 22’ and eventually saw the visitors reduced to 14 men.

The home side made them pay almost immediately as from the back of the scrum Tom Johnson appeared with the ball to slide over and give the hosts a surprise but deserved lead.

The visitors quickly began their response but some good defence from the Stoke back three prevented Reeds levelling the scoreboard, though a penalty in front of the posts did see the gap reduced.

It was not long before again the visitors found themselves charging towards the Stoke try line but unsurprisingly given the conditions handling errors prevented them from taking the lead.

It was though the visitors who were next to score as another penalty in front of the posts meant the visitors kept the score board ticking over, reducing the gap to just a point.

Soon though it was Stoke, using their pack who looked likely to score next, keeping the ball in close quarters and slowly making their way upfield.

They were soon rewarded, again a driving maul coming up trumps, secured their second of the game, with Kieron Parker breaking from the back and dotting down over the line to give themselves a six point lead with the first half drawing to a close.

It was not until the last knockings of the half though where the league leaders began to show their stuff, with some neat offloads and breaking the last line of Stoke defence they were able to slide under the posts and convert to take the lead on half time 13-12.

The second half began with Noah on standby as conditions worsened quite a lot during the break, and with the wind now at their back the visitors began stretching their lead and showing why they are top of the league and on a 49 game winning streak.

Two quick tries at the start of the half meant they stretched their lead to 23-12, though Stoke continued to put up strong resistance in difficult conditions.

A loose kick from the Reeds penalty missed touch and gave ‘Stoke a scrum back on halfway, scrum half George Hemmings getting ‘clean’ ball meaning ‘Stoke were able to make a break of their own, centre Charlie Eaves combining with James Savine able to break through the visitors defence, though eventually being turned over Stoke were still giving this a real go.

The bonus point try eventually followed for Reeds, after what appeared to be a complete shank from the Reeds fly half ended up looking like a master stroke, as despite the ball being knocked back by Stoke, it was somehow regathered by the Reeds back rower who was able to run to the corner and secure the fourth try for the visitors.

This was not the end of the scoring as the visitors added one further try to their tally to lead 37-12.

At this point with conditions worsening and both teams looking like they were wearing the same kit the game was halted and that was that.

A win for the visitors made it 50 in a row, but there was plenty of positives for Stoke after a couple of non scoring games.

Next up for Stoke is a trip to face Old Georgians, a side who they narrowly lost out to in the dying moments earlier in the season.