Basingstoke 74 Jersey 10

BASINGSTOKE ran rampant at Down Grange as they raced to a fourth consecutive Hampshire Cup triumph and posted a new record high score in the process.

'Stoke swept their plucky visitors from the Channel Islands aside 74-10 - running home 11 tries in a one-sided encounter yesterday afternoon.

The winning margin surpassed Havant's 61-12 win over Gosport and Fareham in 1995/6.

Following the final whistle, delighted first team captain Richard Baker received the cup from Hampshire RFU president John Sneezum in front of a packed Down Grange.

After being doused in champagne by his team-mates, Baker told The Gazette: "It was a comprehensive win, but the pleasing thing in the end today was that we won by so much.

"I am personally delighted to win the cup again and lift it for the second time as captain and I know the club as a whole is pleased to have won it for the fourth year running.

"Some teams have treated this cup as secondary to league rugby, whereas we have been behind the competition all the way. We've shown there is room to do well in the league and be successful in cup rugby at the same time."

'Stoke set about retaining the trophy with real determination and posted their first score after a minute when Jason Rees crossed over on the left wing, after a good passing move, for an unconverted try.

The visitors hit back soon after, though, when hooker Doc Snook went over the line following a driving maul from eight metres out. Fly-half Jon Swift converted and his boot extended the lead on 17 minutes with a penalty. But this was as good as it got for Jersey.

The home side came crashing back as Selwyn St Bernard went over for a try and David Jones converted for a 12-10 lead.

By half-time, this had been extended further as Jones kicked a penalty and then Dean scored the first of four tries, picking up after a good break from Phil Della-Savina. Jones converted.

The final score of the opening half came after sustained pressure with Neal Taylor going over. Once more the boot of Jones converted for a 29-10 lead at the turn around.

Dean added another try just five minutes following the restart after a maul had driven well in Jersey territory, and then he completed a hat-trick of scores by running in from 30 metres. Jones converted both tries as the score moved onto 43-10 - and from then on 'Stoke were rampant.

Baker, Simon Appleby, Dean again, Barry Kirwan and Rees, with his second try, racked up the points, helped along the way by the boot of Yann Cullum, who took over kicking duties after Jones was substituted.

Watching from the touchline was 'Stoke director of rugby, Ian Calder, out for the remainder of the season after breaking his arm at Lydney last weekend.

He said: "Our tries and support play were excellent. We weren't expecting to win by this much, but it was a very pleasing day."

'Stoke: C Norton; Y Cullum, B Kirwan, N Taylor, J Rees; D Jones, T Dean; N Young, M Evans, S Buttle, A Wilson, M Reeve, P Della-Savina, R Baker (captain), S St Bernard. Replacements, all used: S Buckland, R Holmes, S Collins, S Hobden, Russell Northcote, S Appleby.