Baisngstoke RFC jumped the first hurdle in their promotion campaign with a hard-earned win at Sidcup on Saturday.
James Croker’s men held the hosts to a blank scoresheet until the 80th minute where a converted try ended the score 18-7 to the visitors.
The win keeps the Down Grange squad firmly in the hunt for London 1 South promotion in fourth place, trailing Old Elthamians by six points, and eight behind league leaders Guernsey and Chichester.
The first half ended with neither side able to break the deadlock despite early chances from centre Freddie Gleadowe who was bundled into touch inches from the line after being set loose by scrum half Ben Hall.
The second half started better for ‘Stoke when a Sidcup scrum on the home side line was turned into touch.
The visitors won the lineout and drove the maul over the line with prop Ollie John getting the final touch for an unconverted try and a 0-5 lead on 44 minutes.
Full back Ashley Paterson was forced to take the restart over the try line and touch down giving the home side a five metre scrum but the visitors held strong and they were able to clear their line.
‘Stoke extended their lead to 8-0 on 59 minutes when the referee penalised Sidcup and Drew Humberstone slotted his kick.
On 66 minutes Will Ford broke through the home side’s defensive line offloading to David Byett who drew in defenders before passing back to Ford to cross over for an unconverted try and a 13-0 scoreline.
Ten minutes before the final whistle ‘Stoke made it 18-0 when Warren Simmonds found flanker Matt Horne who powered across for another uncoverted try.
Sidcup were able to bank a consolation try when a bungled lineout on the ‘Stoke five meter line let the home side scoop the ball and dive home with the match ending 18-7.
On Saturday, ’Stoke take on Hove away.