Bognor fail to end on a home high against Cornish

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Bognor failed to see off their home campaign with victory as they tried to avenge a 50-point defeat earlier in the season against fifth-placed London two south west side London Cornish but ended up losing 17-8.

The home side were dominant from kick-off and great interplay between forwards and backs sent skipper Lee Balchin scampering into the visitors’ 22.

Slick handling released 17-year-old winger Josh Burgess on the wing only for a foul to halt the try. Rob Parry missed the easy penalty opportunity and handed Cornish the ball for the first time.

A good backline move and poor talking allowed the Exiles to break clear and open the scoring with a soft converted try.

Directly from the kick-off, the visitors found their stride once again. Their burly forwards took the game to the Bognor pack but great defence by second-row partners James Barlow and Dan Harding prevented them breaking clear.

The ball was released and a slip in defence allowed an easy try in the corner to put the visitors in control.

Bognor, for the remainder of the half, set up camp in the opposition half. Dave Sweeney dummied and used his pace to break clear and with just the full-back to beat his perfect chip looked to have set up the try, only for a late tackle to halt him. The penalty was chipped over by Parry.

Man of the match Balchin was like a man possessed as he set off on a devastating run leaving defenders in his trail. Dan Brock was in support and used his power to get to the line only for the ball to be knocked from his grasp by the full-back.

The second half belonged to Bognor, their only glitch from the kick-off when Cornish found their hosts napping. A sliced clearance was fielded by their winger, who sped away untouched to canter over.

After some choice words Bognor went on to dominate the 39 remaining minutes. They put together several phases but final passes and wrong decisions prevented scores.

The excellent Graham Broome made inroads as the try line approached only for a push to force the big man into touch.

Substitute prop Tony Johnson inspired the pack to drive their opponents off a scrum to turn over possession. Balchin drove to the heart of the defence and Rob Legge sniped closer before releasing the back line. Quick hands and strong running from Brock released Ben Archer, who was hauled down by a great tackle inches short. Top try scorer Parry was on hand to dummy and dive over in the corner.

Soon Josh Riggall dived over in the corner after Adam Knight set him up, but the celebrations were cut short when the final pass was adjudged forward.

Bognor will take heart from the fact they were so dominant and played fast entertaining rugby as they look forward to life in London south west three next season.

This week, Bognor travel to Camberley looking for their first away win of the season and a chance of a double.

BOGNOR: B Archer, Riggall, Sweeney, Brock, Burgess, Parry, Legge, Balchin, Knight, Tomkins, Barlow,

Harding, Morgan, Mitchell, Broome, Johnson, N Archer, Watson.