IN WHAT looked on paper to be a titanic battle of the top two in Counties 2 Hampshire, the Hurricanes put in one of their best performances of the season to hammer Basingstoke and leap-frog them into top spot. 


Saturday's match at The Fairway saw the Islanders come out of the blocks flying against the league leaders, with full-back Max Fletcher opening the scoring with a powerful carry and nimble footwork.

The Hurricanes continued to build momentum, with flanker, Michael Barrett, dotting down in what was an outstanding performance throughout, to earn him the man of the match award. 

Despite Basingstoke's lofty status, Sandown's cohesive play, with strategies well executed, too hot to handle.

However, the Hurries were hit by injuries to Rob Eston and Jack Wedderkop, forcing them to make crucial changes. 

Replacement, George Finan, stepped up to the plate, making an immediate impact by scoring just after he came on, to put Sandown 19-0 at half time.

In the second half, the Hurricanes wasted no time extending their lead — moving the ball swiftly and forcing Basingstoke to concede a penalty at the breakdown. 

Fletcher calmly converted, increasing the score to 22-0.

The hosts continued to dominate, securing a crucial try bonus point with a powerful carry that pierced through the heart of the Basingstoke defence. 

Basingstoke got themselves on the scoreboard with an unconverted try and tried to make a contest of it. 

But the Hurricanes continued to dominate, scoring their fifth try by flanker Matt Miselbach, stemming from a well-timed run onto a perfectly executed 'pop' pass from stand in fly-half, Tom Marriott. 

Fletcher, who had been accurate with his point-scoring kicks, added his second try of the game from a quick tap penalty — taking advantage of a Basingstoke player in the sin bin for a high tackle. 

Miselbach scored his second try of the game to cap off a remarkable team performance. 
Afterwards, the Hurricanes' director of rugby, Damien Marriott, said he was delighted with the performance. 

"To leap-frog Basingstoke and move into first place is testament to the hard work the lads are putting in on the training ground. 

"We have to keep grounded, keep working hard and not get to carried away.”