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Sunday, 11th March 2018

After a few weeks off due to cancellations and bad weather, Basepoint sponsored Andover hosted Basingstoke on Mother's Day in a league double header.

The pitch was in great condition despite the recent snow and all were looking forward to getting back to some action.

The game couldn't have got off to a worse start for Andover. Poor first up tackling saw Stoke break straight through the line and open their account within the first minute. This was quickly repeated twice more and after 10 minutes the All blacks had conceded three tries and 21 points.

To their credit, Andover woke up and then put in a fantastic performance for the next twenty minutes, spending most of it in the Stoke half. Aggression at the breakdown, good tackling and good handling put the visitors under lots of pressure and it didn't take long for it to take its toll.

Andover scored twice, the first a planned 'Wales' kick move from Lewis Reed that Clayton Burke finished off in style and the second from Ronan Walker who burst through the lineout to steal Stoke's ball and touch down. James Wallace converted the first of the two scores.

Unfortunately, Basingstoke managed one foray into Andover's half right at the end of the first period and they scored a fourth try totally against the run of play to make the half time score 26-12.

Andover started the second half full off optimism, but things quickly got away from them. The game became increasingly niggly and the home side ultimately let it get to them. On several occasions they found themselves on the wrong side of the referee and paid the price twice with two players sent to the bin. Basingstoke didn't escape either and also had a player sin binned for an off the ball incident.

However, it was Stoke that held things together and they scored five unanswered second half tries to make the final score 55-12.

Andover have one more league game v Trojans and hopefully a couple of friendlies, before attentions turn to building for next season with the current Under 16 squad.


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