Bognor’s woeful season continued as they were defeated 39-7 by a Twickenham side they had pushed to the final whistle earlier in the season in London two south west.
They went into the game with an average age of just 22 as they build for next season.
The game started with backs and forwards well matched. Bognor’s young second row of Dan Harding and the outstanding Jack Tomkins dominated the lineout and were a great source of possession, but again silly errors cost the home side dear.
The first score came from the visitors as a penalty attempt rebounded off the upright. The referee was obstructed and missed a blatant knock forward. Twickenham, to their credit, continued to play and score the converted try.
Bognor had only themselves to blame for the second. A backline move was hindered with a dropped ball and a quick turnover and accurate passing allowed the visiting winger a clear run in for their second try.
The home side started to build pressure and a great break by man of the match Dan Brock unlocked the Twickenham defence. Dave Sweeney and skipper Lee Balchin combined to keep the momentum going but as the try line beckoned, the ball was dropped and the chance went begging.
After great work at the lineout, the forwards drove hard at the line but Brock was held by great defence. A blip in the scrum was taken against the head but the alert Pat Gibbs was on hand to muscle his opponent off the ball to run clear.
With one man to beat, his dancing feet left the defender bewildered as he scooted over in the corner. Rob Parry converted with ease.
After that, Twickenham kept Bognor camped in their half. An injury to Gibbs was compounded when Parry went for a spectacular chip. The kick was charged down and his opposite number had a clear run to the line to extend the lead to 19-7.
In the second half, Bognor were dominant in possession and territory but managed to lose the half 20-0. Some missed tackles and fortuitous bounces of the ball were their downfall despite a spirited performance.
New recruit Ben Fiddler was a shining light with the improving Adam Knight as they battled against the bigger and heavier pack. Twickenham powered over for two quick tries against the run of play.
Armundus Morgan went close and Ben Archer and Graham Broome powered through, but great last-ditch defence by the visitors and impatience by Bognor ensured no further progress was made.
Twickenham saved their best try ’til last. Bognor pressed deep in their half but were judged to have illegally sealed the ball. The Twickenham scrum-half spotted the space and tapped quickly and some great handling and pace by the right winger sent him haring down the touchline unopposed.
This very young, talented Bognor side never gave up and have set their stall out to improve every match as they look to the future. The club are in great hands with so many ex-colts acquitting themselves well.
This week they travel to second-placed Wimbledon.
BOGNOR: Brock, Burgess, Archer, Sweeney, Legge, Parry, Gibbs, Balchin, Knight, Dyer, Harding, Tomkins, Morgan, Broome, Fiddler, Sergeant, Flinn, Stevens.