BOGNOR’s rugby veterans took to the field away to Berkshire side Redingensians and got off to a flying start - but ended on the wrong side of a 29-22 scoreline.
Redingensians were shellshocked as wave after wave of assaults on their line resulted in two scores in the first 20 minutes.
After being pushed back at the first scrum, Bognor’s forwards never took another backward step and dominated their opposition. Zubler and Stevens, wearing Bognor shirts for the first time in many years, led the line with the stalwart Peter Mitchell, and quickly got the measure of their opposite numbers.
Parsons and Baldwinson were solid at lock, and the back row of Nigel Mitchell, O’Connor and Balchin battered the Redingensians defence.
The backs were able to run riot. Fed by Brown (junior), magician Spurle supplied Castelton and Gordon, allowing them to slice apart the opposition line. Reed made numerous forays to support wingers Hay and Shipp and this resulted in a try in the corner for the latter. This was added to by another from Balchin.
Then, the plan started to go awry. Spurle came off injured, followed by Castleton, both of whom were unable to return. Cuschieri took over at No10 and Page went into the centre. Williams and Rimmer replaced the two locks and Brown (senior) donned the No1 shirt to play scrum-half.
Redingensians broke away and ran the full length of the pitch to score. A further score saw them leading 12-10 at the halfway stage.
The second half ebbed and flowed and Balchin scored a second try, Bognor’s third. Cullen came on for a cameo performance, while Emmett and Pigden threw themselves into their roles.
In the forwards, Kempster came on to support the backline.
Lewin kept the opposition guessing with his lineout throws and from one of these, Bognor scored their last try by Page.
Redingensians had scored four tries themselves and capped their day with a fifth in the final play of the game.
BOGNOR: Zubler, Mitchell P, Stevens, Parsons, Baldwinson, O’Connor, Mitchell N, Balchin, Brown D, Spurle, Castleton, Gordon, Hay, Shipp, Reed, Brown P, Williams, Rimmer, Pigden, O’Brian, Lewin, Emmett, Page, Mitchell B, Cuschieri, Kempster, Cullen.