With the prolific Trace Morgan absent for Basingstoke Bluefins, they fielded an almost full strength side, and hopes were high, especially with the return of goalkeeper Mick Sheath.

The first quarter started off well with Basingstoke pressing Cranleigh around the pool in defence and showing patience and good decision-making in attack. As a result two unanswered goals, one from Greg Knight and another from Dave Trewhalla, left the visitors 2-0 up.

Basingstoke demonstrated a similarly strong performance in the second quarter. While continuing to press in defence, a one-man drop was also implemented to great effect. The visitors managed only one goal this quarter, while great cohesion in attack and some individual determination from Alan Fairhead ensured the Bluefins added a further four to their tally. 6-1 at half time.

Complacency began to set in in the third quarter, however. Basingstoke began to lose discipline in defence and force an attack which flowed in the first half. Despite some superb goalkeeping from Mick Sheath, the high exclusion count cost the visitors. By the start of the fourth quarter Cranleigh had pulled the deficit back to just one; 7-6.

A cameo appearance from captain Steve Fairhead in the fourth quarter was just what the doctor ordered. Basingstoke regained concentration in defence and began to attack with steady purpose once more. Despite Cranleigh scoring two in the last quarter, Basingstoke's superior fitness began to show. Goals from Gerard Mangan, Dave Trewhalla and Alan Fairhead sealed the deal at 10-8. All in all this was a solid performance by the Bluefins. In a post match interview coach/captain Steve Fairhead cited the progress the team has made in the last two months as greatly encouraging.

Team :- Mike Sheath, Greg Knight, Toby Hanson, Dave Bush, Gavin Bridger, Dave Trewhella, Gerard Mangan, Steve Fairhead, Allan Fairhead, Brian Tyndall, Aaron Croucher,Andy Cackett, Chris Wintle 

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