Bognor came unstuck in a 62-8 London two south west defeat at Teddington against the well-drilled and pacy backline of the hosts.
The game was even among the forwards, with Bognor fielding a very experienced pack.
Steve Dove, Jonny Lang, Karl Flinn, skipper Lee Balchin and Paul Mitchell were brought into bolster the scrum and somewhat faltering lineout. To their credit, they competed for the whole 80 minutes and had the hosts under huge pressure in the second half.
Among the backs, Teddington will be most complete backline Bognor will face this year and a combination of pace and power, together with the visitors’ unusually-slack tackling was the huge difference between the sides as Teddington ran in ten tries.
Bognor kept the ball tight and made good inroads with Scotsman Lee Thompson leading the way with bulldozing runs, but final passes and little mistakes hindered the visitors as a solitary penalty from scrum-half Rob Parry gave Bognor the lead.
Teddington span the ball wide from every turnover and attacked at every opportunity. A turnover in midfield split the Bognor defence and scored out wide.
This was closely followed with the second try.
Bognor put in some great phases, Dave Sweeney orchestrating an opening and sending the returning Josh Riggall through a hole, and the forwards using their size to drive on, Balchin again leading from the front.
Armundus Morgan took on the mantle and the former Springbok looked to have scored on the wing, but was a few inches short. Man of the match Parry was on hand to throw an outrageous dummy to flop over the line.
Bognor were at fault with poor defence and needless turnovers which handed the hosts three more unchallenged tries for a commanding half-time lead.
The second half was more attritional as Bognor battled away in the hosts’ 22 for more than 20 minutes. The lineout functioned well, with Paul Mitchell finding older brother Nigel Mitchell with pinpoint accuracy. The pack drove several close to the line but silly dropped balls and mistakes thwarted the attacks.
Bognor’s best attack came after a thundering tackle by Balchin turned the ball over for Morgan to pounce. His offload to young winger Tom Watson looked to have got the visitors their just reward but another great tackle halted him.
Flinn went close, only to held up over the line. Sweeney was next to go close with a great chip and gather. With one man to beat, the tackle was good.
Teddington had a purple patch and opened up the Bognor defence with pace to finish with another five tries to put a flattering look on the scoreboard.
It would have been a lot worse without outstanding cover on the wing by Morgan, who saved a certain two tries, and Sweeney with another couple of try-saving tackles.
Bognor now have a week off before they host high-flying Old Reigatians on November 12.
BOGNOR: Reid, Butt, Archer, Riggall, Burgess, Sweeney, Parry Flinn, N Mitchell, Balchin, Dove, Thompson, Morgan, Citriue, P Mitchell, Lang, Johnson, Watson.
During November, a number of Bognor RFC players are taking part in Movember, in which they will don some decorative top-lip growth in aid of men’s health.
All funds raised will go towards all aspects of men’s health.
To make a donation or to join, please visit www.uk.movember.com/mospace/team and search for Bognor Regis RFC.