Basingstoke RFC ran in five tries on their way to a bonus point win at the seaside on Saturday.
Gareth Hatherley-Hurford’s were made to work for a 25-17 win after Bognor mounted a late comeback attempt.
And they were put under the cosh early on as well as it took the visitors 20 minutes to respond to an early Bognor try by levelling the score through Brent Evans’ effort.
But while Ben Hawkins missed the resulting conversion, ‘Stoke didn’t have long to wait to go ahead, as captain Robbie Northcote went over under the posts following a superb run by Ed Mallaby.
And there was still time for Basingstoke to grab a third try before half time through Matt Guilfoyle, with Hawkins missing a third conversion in a row to leave the score at 15-5.
In fact, the fly half would miss each of his five conversions in the match, although it didn’t seem to matter when Simon Appleby and then Jonty Newton took the try tally up to five.
But with the score at 25-5, ‘Stoke then took their foot off the gas and were handed a late scare as Bognor scored twice more tries of their own.
The win means Basingstoke are now just three points behind third-placed Old Cranleighans in London 3 South West going into Saturday’s clash with Trojans.