With the visitors rooted firmly at the bottom of the table and Warlingham just a couple of places above them, this was a key game for the home side. A large crowd of home supporters had braved the frosted touchline and they were rewarded with a nerve tingling game which eventually delivered five well deserved league points. Warlingham pressed hard for the first quarter but Basingstoke defended with determination despite vigorous charges from prop George Bench and lock Ben Warman. A penalty decision gave fly half Jack Atkinson a long range shot at the posts. The kick tantalisingly struck the bar and bounced into play but Basingstoke secured the ball and cleared the danger.
A break by centre David Priest was illegally stopped and the referee awarded a controversial penalty try and yellow-carded the offending Basingstoke defender. Basingstoke immediately struck back with a try but Atkinson extended the lead with a penalty. After the break Basingstoke gathered some confidence and twice kicked ahead
a dropped Warlingham pass and scored tries. With a deficit of nine points the home side could have capitulated but good defesive workk by full bask Nick Canty and concerted forward pressure and several pick-and-go drives saw captain and scrum half Alex Skinner dive over for a second try. Warlingham were now in the driving seat and Priest grabbed the third unconverted try to give Warlngham a slender one point lead. Basingstoke battled hard in the final ten minutes but forward drives from Warlingham gave Bench their fourth, bonus point try to seal the result. After the game, Director of Rugby,
Nick Warren said.”Good to get the five league points but we didn’t play particularly well today. We need to be sharper for the rest of the season and keep our concentration.’
Next Saturday Warlingham travel to Petersfield for their last game before the Christmas break
Updated 17:25 - 17 Jan 2018 by Gina Mattison