In challenging conditions, Winchester racked up eight unanswered goals with a masterclass from fly-half Josh Tolan, who contributed 26 points, writes Dai Henley.

He converted all Winchester’s tries, some taken from wide out against blustery wind and rain.

Despite a five-week layoff due to Christmas and postponed matches, Winchester started well. Within the first 16 minutes, Tolan scored two tries, the first following a dummy and searing break. He passed to centre Jake Hiscock, who returned it for Tolan to cross the line under the posts. The second try was a perfect chip and chase over the Trojans defence into the goal area, his pace ensuring the touchdown. The conversion brought the score to 14-0.

Following a penalty to Winchester five metres from the Trojans line, skipper and No 8 Matt Golding scored under the posts. Tolan added the conversion making the half-time score 21-0.

Trojans briefly threatened a fightback. Winchester responded with interest. Crunching tackles from second-rowers Matt Lown and Saul Morgan set Trojans on the back foot. Flanker Jack Coles received a yellow card from referee Richard James for a dangerous tackle.

Despite Winchester’s being a man down, scrum-half Connor Breen, at the heart of everything, passed the ball at speed to centres Jake Hiscock and Will Taylor, who set up winger Miles Sampson. He sped over the line for the bonus-point try. Tolan’s conversion made the score 28-0.

Winchester’s pack asserted their superiority and won a scrum against the head, despite being a man down. 10 phases of close control by the pack resulted in Lown dotting down. The difficult conversion was nailed by Tolan.

With Coles returning, desperate defence by Trojans led to a yellow card. In total control now, Winchester’s full-back, Tom “Fozzy” Forster, scored the try of the match when he made a break 30 metres from the Trojans goal-line.  Trojans couldn’t deal with his electric pace on a sodden surface. He dived over the line close to the touchline. In the sheeting rain, Tolan unerringly converted.

Winchester added two more converted tries through Sampson and the effervescent Lown, bringing the final score to 56-0. They move up to second place in the league, a possible promotion within their sights.

Coach Gaz Martin said: “We’ve been building for this performance for the past six weeks. Our fitness training with the Army Training Regiment paid off today. And our half-backs put in their best performance of the season.”

Winchester team: Forster; Sampson, Hiscock (vice-captain), Taylor, Esterhuizen; Tolan, Breen; Turner, Wallis, Beavan, Morgan, Lown, Dunne, Coles, Golding (captain)

Substitutes: Williams, Nicholson, Fieldsend