Bognor vs Fareham Heathens 17.02.18
Bognor travelled to Fareham to face the side that they had defeated 2 years prior to gain promotion into London 3 South West.
Both teams looked very very ready for the battle that was about to take place and despite a very muddy pitch, the sun was out and it was game on.
Lee Balchin looked extremely focused and set the tone with a crunching hit early on from the first Fareham carry. Unfortunately for the ex county back row his game was brought to a halt a few minutes later after a vicious and illegal knee to the kidney at the bottom of a ruck. We wish him the best and the game was about to get a lot tougher without him.
Bognor kicked off the scoring early with Sean Power slotting over with ease from a short distance. 0-3 BRFC.
After some great carrying in the midfield from George Castleton and Chris Webb, Bognor were awarded another penalty and Power nudged the egg over again. 0-6.
Both teams brought an immense level of physicality into the game and James Barlow showed this alongside second row partner Darren Bidwell, the locks linking up fantastically in the central channels. Adam Knight continued to prove his worth after coming on for skipper Balchin and made light work of the incoming Heathens, unfortunately Bognor were then pinged after Josh Burgess couldn’t wiggle his large frame out of a ruck. 3-6.
Fareham then bounced back after early pressure from the away side, the full-back going over in the corner and converting his own try. 10-6.
Once again Bognor’s centres looked tasty, Joshua Riggall and Sam Newcombe showed excellent hands at the start of the second half with the 12 finishing over the white wash in style. 10-13.
The unlikely duo of Jonny Lang and Paddy Burnett then showed some lovely skill out wide with a lovely crash and offload, the age gap being over 60 years so it was nice to see such a bond formed so early into Burnett’s career.
Burgess as always carried with intent, creating monumental go forward ball which provided Billy Toone and Sean Power the perfect platform. Pat Gains was then introduced for Pat Gibbs and the centre immediately made an impact with a rocket like line through the centre of the field. The forwards then built on this aggressive phase play with a driving maul that couldn’t be stopped, Adam Knight dotting the ball down. 10-20.
Unfortunately for the Heathens Bognor continued to pile on carry after carry and it began to work in the away sides favour. Newcombe looked deadly in the outside channels and so did Greenslade. The youngster getting tackled high in front of the posts, penalty try. 10-27.
Riley Chute was then brought into the game and the new father showed great strength in the scrum and a hunger for the Ball.
Bognor kept the heat on the home side and the next score came for rookie paceman Danny Greenslade, the lightning fast winger scoring after some brutal running and determination. 10-34.
All in all a great away win for the Bognor boys and a lovely journey back down the 27.
1. Christopher Webb
2. Jonny Lang
3. Thomas James
4. James Barlow
5. Darren Bidwell
6. Lee Balchin
7. George Castleton
8. Josh Burgess
9. Billy Toone
10. Sean Power
11. Paddy Burnett
12. Joshua Riggall
13. Sam Newcombe
14. Danny Greenslade
15. Pat Gibbs
16. Pat Gains
17. Riley Chute
18. Adam Knight