Alton RFC lost 31-0 at home to Bognor in Hampshire Counties One.

The final score did not truly reflect the effort put in by the Silverbacks.

On the previous weekend Alton had conceded an away walkover to New Milton because at least 30 of the players were, for many reasons, unavailable. A revised squad meant a number of the players were not used to playing alongside each other and it took some time for their co-ordination to develop.

Eight minutes in Alton managed a 50:22 touch kick but were unfortunate to give away a penalty as they threatened the visitors’ goalline. Taking the penalty quickly, Bognor ran the ball – and despite Alton’s best efforts scored their first try.

The visitors realised they could out-pass Alton and mounted attack after attack. However, stout defence by the Silverbacks kept them out until the 23rd minute. Five minutes later Bognor followed up with a converted try.

Alton fought back and only a superb tackle prevented a certain try for the hosts. However, on half-time Bognor scored their bonus point-try immediately below the posts.

Ten minutes into the second half Bognor added a fifth try, which was converted.

With the weather deteriorating with rain and a chilly wind, Alton discovered they could compete at this level and prevented Bognor from adding to their score. In fact, they were unfortunate not to score themselves.

Despite the unavailability problem of the previous weekend, Alton were able to fulfil both their fixtures, with the second team securing a notable 19-12 away win against Alresford’s second team.

Tom Mills