After a week off Basingstoke RFC were finally given the chance to bounce back from their heavy defeat to league leaders Eastleigh with a win on Saturday.
‘Stoke saw off US Portsmouth 26-13 at Down Grange, to make it four victories in five matches, despite playing at a level far below their best.
The 31-3 defeat to Eastleigh had threatened to disrupt Basingstoke’s momentum, and they found things tricky early on, as some sloppy play handed Portsmouth two penalties, to put them 6-0 up.
But after one of the visitors’ players was sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements, Jonny Till’s converted try ensured Gareth Hatherley-Hurford went into half time one point ahead.
A sloppy start to the second half saw ‘Stoke go back to square one however, as Portsmouth grabbed a converted try of their own to make it 7-13.
The visitors wouldn’t score against after that though, as Simon Appleby, Dave Lambert, and Ed Mallaby all went over the try line to eventually give Basingstoke some breathing space.
‘Stoke now sit in fourth place in London 3 South West, going into Saturday’s tie at Weybridge Vandals.