Alresford RFC vs Bognor RFC
By Thomas James
By Thomas James
Bognor travelled up the A3 to visit hosts Alresford in what was tipped to be a huge game as the season comes to a close. The Bognor team looking strong, with a mixture of youthful exuberance and vintage talent.
Bognor started off the scoring with 13 Sam Newcombe running an awesome line outside his new centre partner Pat Gains, the pair were spotted comparing calf muscles pre-match. 0-7 Power converts.
Alresford replied almost instantly with a score of their own, the home tight five carrying extremely hard in Bognor’s final third and finishing it off with ease. 5-7.
Lee Balchin and George Castleton were making light work of the ruck area and continued to show why they have been main stays in the Bognor 1st team over the past 15 years. Joshua Burgess was cut early by a rogue boot but soldiered on, playing at 8 he dominated his one on ones.
Sean Power and his back line were beginning to turn the screw out wide and Paddy Burnett looked deadly with ball in hand, a couple of powerful close carries from Adam Knight and Christopher Webb ate up some impressive yards, the super quick Pat Gibbs finishing well in the corner after a naughty miss pass from Joshua Riggall. 5-14.
Alresford then flipped the game on its head, a few missed tackles from the away side did not help the cause and the home side capitalised on this. A penalty was given away by Tom James and the home side rolled over the driving maul. 12-14.
Bognor did not look phased after this score and made inroads almost immediately in the Alresford defence, Venci Angelov and Chris Webb dominating at scrum time with Darren Bidwell causing havoc in the loose. Burgess was next to score, the double door Samsung fridge freezer went over from 10 metres. 12-21 Bog.
Pat Gains was loving life at 12 and was in Power’s ear throughout the first half, Newcombe outside the two was deadly. Balchin and Castleton kept the train rolling with continuous go forward ball, Jumbo finished with a simple pick and go. 12-26 Bog.
It was the turn of Lewis Brownlee employee of the year Chris Webb to get some meat. He looked to go blind in space and bowled two over to score. 12-33.
Gains then had a 10 minute rest after a some what dubious high tackle call from the referee, Bognor had to step up as the ex Havant RFC full-back was the communication centre in the midfield. Alresford took the points to make it 15-33.
Half time beckoned and Billy Toone who had provided perfect quick ball for Power replaced himself for the returning Jack Hornibrook, the experienced Bognor youth coach with teeth like a burnt out village made an immediate impact.
Alresford copped the first points of the second half with an easy penalty in front of the posts. 18-33.
Newcombe broke in the outside channels once again, the electric outside centre using his quick feet and powerful tend to expert use. 18-38. Riley Chute was brought on for Bulgarian power house Angelov and the Fijian made the most of the open game with a few marching carries through the heart of the home sides defence. James Barlow was then introduced for the immense Adam Knight who despite being a road block all game still looked happy in his scrum cap. Barlow showed why he deserves his 1st team place with his typical dog work in the ruck area.
Tom James hadn’t seen much of the ball and was replaced by Angelov at the 60 minute mark. Bidwell had put everything into the game and was being dragged around by his older role models Balchin and Castleton, the two seemingly enjoying the rough and tumble they’ve loved for years.
Gains was back to his old tricks and put Riggall through a lovely gap, the Brown bear juggled the egg for a moment before feeding Hornibrook who scored with ease. 18-45.
It was to no ones surprise that Newcombe finished the game with the match ball after another blockbuster carry outside his opposite number, the best of the lot with the centre blasting his way through the tackle and actually laughing at the winger trying to catch him... savage. 18-52. Game Over.
Balchin and Burnett were interviewed at the final whistle and purely chanted “WE GO AGAIN!!!”
By Thomas James
1. Christopher Webb
2. Venci Angelov
3. Thomas James
4. Darren Bidwell
5. Adam Knight
6. Lee Balchin
7. George Castleton
8. Joshua Burgess
9. Billy Toone
10. Sean Power
11. Paddy Burnett
12. Pat Gains
13. Sam Newcombe
14. Patrick Gibbs
15. Joshua Riggall
16. Riley Chute
17. Jack Hornibrook
18. James Barlow