Brilliant Bognor rack up half century of points against Ellingham

Bognor on the attack against Ellingham and Ringwood / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Bognor on the attack against Ellingham and Ringwood / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Bognor’s brilliant second half performance was too powerful for Hampshire premier division visitors Ellingham & Ringwood.

With several regulars out, a combination of experienced legends and energetic youngsters were selected.

Bognor opened the scoring early on. The forwards, lead by Lang, Balchin (stand-in captain) and Mitchell, drew the defence before Newton Young unleashed Newcombe through a gaping hole to score under the sticks.

Simple Bognor errors found E&R easing their way into it. They scored several tries in quick succession through loose defensive attempts from Bognor and the home team were struggling for answers.

Bognor trailed 26-7 just before the break before the ever-reliable Webb went on a trademark run and bulldozed through to score his second of the season. Newtown Young converted to make it 26-14.

The second half commenced and it was clear the wise words of captain Balchin had inspired Bognor. From the kick, Bidwell nailed the catcher and turned the ball over. Bailey, James and Groome all made their presence known with aggressive carries, Toone controlled the tempo of the attack and at the right moment, Burnett was on the end of a well worked move.

With next to no space on the outside of his opposite man, he still opted to rely on his pace and, on this occasion, he found himself sliding over in the corner.

This was to be the beginning of a gutsy comeback.

McGregor was introduced to the pack on his debut and Balchin had slotted in at centre.

Balchin made his versatility evident and linked well with centre partner Newcombe, both blasting defenders away and gliding through the gaps. From one break in particular, Balchin found himself metres from the line before offloaded to Bidwell. A try under the posts capped a superb display from the second row.

Ill discipline from the opposition then gave Newton Young a chance to punish and he did so, adding the three points.

E&R chased their kick well and retained possession, and scored another try.

The teams were tied 31-31 when Bognor found another level. Webb and James continued to rampage over the gain line while Webb also proved his skill with delicate passes around the contact area.

Following suit, the pack began to gain ground and go forward ball, providing Newton Young with the perfect foundation to utilise the dangerous Bognor back three. Burnett being the beneficiary and adding three more to his tally.

Newton Young punished yet again with another three points.

Bognor displayed great character to get back to winning ways. With no game Saturday, the boys will be eager to prepare for what is to be a fierce battle away to Millbrook on October 12.

Elsewhere, Bognor Royals lost 51-10 at Basingstoke. Flinn and Russell were the try scorers. This Saturday they host Hook & Odiham.

Bognor: Webb, Bailey, James, Bidwell, Edwards, Lang, Balchin, Mitchell, Toone, Newton-Young, Burgess, Newcombe, Burnett, Matafawali, Hay, Groome, McGregor, McCarron.