Bognor vice-captain Shane Stevens has told his team-mates they must find room for improvement in their performance when they go to Millbrook on Saturday.
Stevens was speaking after Bognor kicked off their season with a 26-17 victory against league new boys Overton. He said: “We all have to step up and ensure mistakes are ironed out gradually if we are going to challenge in this league.”
The match saw Dave Sweeny put in a solid performance in a fortuitous victory in this London & SE Division Hampshire 1 clash. The visitors were frequently forcing the home side into multiple turnovers and handling errors. The home side will be disappointed with the number of points scored, as countless chances were created that could have led to a much higher scoring game.
Bognor started strong, scoring in just seven minutes following a try from Darren Bidwell. Ace kicker Sweeney comfortably converted to get the Hampshire Avenue outfit off and running. Overton applied some pressure, leading to some wayward passing from Bognor.
The pressure was eased by precise kicking from Sweeney, which allowed Bognor to extend their lead through a Sam Newcombe try. Sweeney added the extras for a 14-point lead.
Bognor were lucky as Overton had a try disallowed, as well as a missed kick from right in front of the posts. The home sides luck ran out and Overton were awarded a straight penalty, reducing the gap and putting Bognor on edge.
The hosts were hit with injury troubles right before the half, with skipper Lee Balchin leaving the pitch with a broken hand.
More handling errors resulted in Bognor losing the lead near the end of the match. Sweeney earned his man of the match status with some silky moves finally breaking the fatigued Overton defence. Josh Burgess regained the lead for Bognor with a try, Sweeney converted, and Tom James dealt the final blow.