Isle of Wight vs Bognor (a) 9.12.17
Saturday the 9th of December saw Bognor travel over the channel to face a very steady IOW team who love a home fixture this season
Isle of Wight vs Bognor (a) 9.12.17
The boys in green hoping to win another in this interesting league campaign.
Kick-off saw Tom James gather a swirly high ball and carry deep into the heart of the IOW pack, backed up in the ruck by veterans Jonny Lang and retired for the 17th time Joe Greenslade... Joe being older than the 3 youth prospects; Alex The Grabber Bosley, Sean The Power Taylor and Paddy The Lift Burnett.
The half started shaky for the away side as the Isle of Wight backs began to find gaps in the Bognor defence and clock up 2/3 free entries into Bognor’s 22 courtesy of some lacklustre tackling from Pat Gibbs and Sam Newcombe. Don’t worry, the two red heads made up for their errors later on in the encounter. Communication was high from the experienced heads, captain Lee Balchin and outside centre Josh Burgess were their usual selves; carrying with sharp intent and nasty conviction all game.
IOW took the lead, the extremely quick full-back stepping and weaving through 4/5 Bognor defenders who had to do more than moan to come back from a poor poor start. 7-0.
Shane Stevens was then removed after a local islander shot him in the knee with a spud gun from the sideline. Joshua Riggall was introduced and immediately saw a wild finch nest in his ginormous beard. Billy Toone was tuned in and his accurate passing began to clock some serious percentage figures, using Chris Webb and Venci Angelov to deadly effect in the midfield.
Fly-half Sweeney looked on edge as no one outside him could make a tackle, but the 10 didn’t let this get to him. Adam Knight and James Barlow running great straight lines off the wizards right hand.
After dominating possession and the set piece Bognor were then hit on the break again, the IOW 15 once again using his magical feet to tango through the helpless Bognor D. 14-0.
Gibbs got the ball out wide after pin point passing from Newcombe and Burgess, the agile Bognor full-back shimmied one way and then came back inside to finish perfectly over the white wash. 14-5.
Bognor continued the resurgence, the boys with a critical push over score with Jonny Lang at the spear head after some filthy line-out crafting from hooker Webb and Number 8 Balchin. 14-10
Young Paddy Burnett felt his heart racing, the lightning fast 14 turning over opposition ball like a back row player. Captain Balchin received peng egg chucking from Toone and was looking like a young college sprint scholar, unfortunately at half-time the captain had to have a little rest and on came Alex Bosley for his debut.
IOW’s final score came just before half time and took the score to 21-10. The half-time whistle was howled into by the referee and the strong island wind, Bognor now needed to get straight onto the objective. Win.
IOW’s forwards carried well all game but were smashed back instantaneously by Bosley and Knight. The two back rows giving each other a bum slap after a knock on in the midfield by IOW.
Next came something we’d never seen before and something the Isle of Wight faithful never want to see again, Webb linking up with Lang. The 21 year olds exchanging naughty offloads, Burnett running a polar express line straight through platform 1 of the IOW defence and eventually slipping the ball out to Bosley who scored under the posts on his debut. 21-17, game on.
Sean Power younger brother of Oxford/Bognor back row stalwart Ryan made an immediate impression on his debut, showing gorgeous footwork and a cannon right boot.
The end was near and Bognor felt confident, unfortunately for them a few tries were disallowed and decisions didn’t go their way but the team had to push. Balchin and Lang were introduced again and the leader of all made a crucial turnover. Sweeney fed the beast and well deserved MOTM Chris Webb a tasty flat ball from 10 metres out and there was no stopping the prop from there. 21-22 to Bognor and a win away from home once again.
Lee Balchin said after the game “We go again next week. Now let’s go and celebrate this tightly contested victory with the naughty elves.”
1. Joe Greenslade
2. Venci Angelov
3. Chris Webb
4. Tom James
5. James Barlow
6. Jonny Lang
7. Adam Knight
8. Lee Balchin
9. Billy Toone
10. Dave Sweeney
11. Shane Stevens
12. Sam Newcombe
13. Joshua Burgess
14. Paddy Burnett
15. Patrick Gibbs
16. Joshua Riggall
17. Sean Power
18. Alex Bosley