Basingstoke RFC ended a tough year in style on Saturday by notching up another win in the league.
Gareth Hatherley-Hurford’s side will finish 2016 up in fourth place in London 3 South West, after beating Weybridge Vandals on their travels.
‘Stoke understandably started the season quite shaky, following their third successive relegation, but have since recovered well to win seven of their last eight matches.
But while they went try crazy in a number of those matches, Basingstoke were made to work hard for their 20-11 away win against Weybridge.
The two sides battled it out on the second week of the season, with Basingstoke claiming their first win in a 38-32 thriller, although the score was never in danger of running that high again during a scrappy encounter.
After Tom Humberstone kicked over a penalty right in front of the posts to give them an early lead, ‘Stoke then gifted the hosts a try straight from the kick off, following a string of errors.
Things then went from bad to worse, as Kofi Butcher was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle, although Basingstoke actually managed to score with a man down, as George Hemmings dotted the ball over the line .
A Weybridge penalty brought them back to 8-8 minutes later, before Humberstone fed Simon Appleby to give them their first lead of the match just before half time.
The hosts looked the more likely to score again after the break, but had to content themselves with just a penalty, as the ‘Stoke backline held firm.
It was all Basingstoke after that though, as, with Weybridge tiring Appleby scored his second try of the match to claim the win, before then seeing the referee inexplicably deny him his hat trick in the final minute, to stop his side claiming a bonus point.
‘Stoke are next in action on January 7, when they will face Old Cranleighans.