League leaders Eastleigh finally ended Basingstoke RFC’s winning streak on Saturday.
‘Stoke were comprehensively beaten 31-3 in a one-sided Hampshire derby to stay fourth in the London 3 South West – 13 points adrift from the top.
Gareth Hatherley-Hurford’s side have looked unrecognisable over the last few weeks from the side that have suffered three miserable relegations in successive years.
In a run sparked by an incredible last second 43-39 win over Old Tiffinians at the start of October, Basingstoke won five matches in a row going into the weekend – wracking up a massive 201 points.
But after scoring eight tries in their win over Teddington a week earlier, ‘Stoke struggled to get things going during a difficult encounter at Eastleigh that started off reasonably well.
After forcing the Eastleigh line into a mistake, Basingstoke took the lead from a James Ephraim penalty, with three minutes on the clock.
But those three points would be the only ones the visitors got on the board after that, despite only going into half time 10-3 down, after conceding a converted try, and a penalty.
After a positive start to the second half, Basingstoke were then punished again, after forcing a turnover on Dave Lambert, and then unleashing a devastating counter-attack that saw them break several tackles.
It wasn’t long before ‘Stoke were having to defend their try line again though, as Eastleigh’s forwards punched holes up the field to lay the foundation for a simple score to make It 24-3.
And after trying in vain to grab a first try of the game, the visitors were then hit again one more time with five minutes remaining, to hand Eastleigh a bonus point win.
Basingstoke will take a break from play this weekend, and will return to action next Saturday at home to United Services, Portsmouth.