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Tottonians gained a battling bonus point and heaps of experience as an under-strength first XV faced what could be London 1 South’s promotion favourites.

The afternoon at Water Lane was always going to be tough as Totts welcomed Chichester, who were competing at National 3 level last season.

But, with four regular first team regulars at a fellow player’s wedding and five others sidelined for various reasons, Totts’ task was made even harder.

Head coach Gavin Hart was in the starting line-up in the back row and backs’ coach Pierre Alex Clark came on off the bench.

Totts deserved the point they received for scoring four tries and were ahead twice in the first 35 minutes The half ended with the hosts 22-17 adrift, but Chichester eventually won 67-34.

Scrum half Harry Dolbear and fly half Freddie Prince both scored first half tries and Prince added a couple of conversions and a penalty.

Chichester struck twice after the break but another penalty and a brilliant individual try from centre Dylan Baptiste had Totts within seven points with a quarter of the game remaining.

However, Chichester took control and ran in four tries before Dolbear brought up his side’s bonus point after being fed by Ian Davidson.

Hart said: “We will take the point we got from that. “I’m happy we got something and when we play at Chichester they will see a very different Tottonians side.”

He added: “The guys out there are not used to playing that sort of intensity, but they did for 60 minutes.

“Chichester are a quality side. We knew they had just come out of National 3 and would be looking to bounce straight back.”

Tottonians: N. Burns, L. Murphy, T. Gregory, A. Ramus, L. Wilson, G. Hart, O. King, C. Dumont, H. Dolbear, F. Prince, G. Lee, D. Baptiste, B. Dolbear, F. Mutiti, I. Davidson. Reps: D. Drake, J. Lovell, P. A. Clark.