Bognor RFC vs Isle of Wight RFC
Saturday the 7th of April saw Bognor absolutely crucify the traveling Wights on a momentous day in the clubs history.
By Thomas James
Lee Balchin was leading his men out for the last time at Hampshire Avenue after announcing he is stepping down as captain at the end of the season.
The home side were full of emotion and the young starlet Paddy Burnett opened the scoring within 30 seconds of the kick off, the speedy winger being fed the ball by the worlds hairiest full back Joshua Riggall. Sean Power converted, the 10 using the day as kicking practice by the end of play.
Hampshire Avenue could have easily been mistaken for Clapham Junction as every single Bognor player carried like a train. Venci Angelov and James Barlow looked particularly fired up and linked well throughout the game, the latter clearing every ruck in sight with the Bulgarian making light work of the contact area.
Jack Hornibrook on the wing looked deadly with ball in hand alongside his inside man Sam Newcombe, the two using their blistering speed and silky hands to full effect throughout. George Castleton and Lee Balchin either side of the Bognor scrum made the crowd go wild again and again, brutal defence and hard running lines proved why they are two of the most important and inspirational players to ever play for the 1st team.
The game was one way traffic for 95% of the duration, IOW had a very small spell in the Bognor half but the home side defended like Spartans, relentlessly forcing the away side back. Huge hits were flying in from Balchin and Joshua Burgess, the transit shaped number 8 loving his new found position.
Billy Toone was enjoying his game at 9, the experienced scrum half using his kicking game to pin the IOW back and serving up Michelin star passes for youngster Power to play with. It was no shock that Pat pipe Gains was in amongst it throughout, the northerner has been one of Bognor’s best this season; his intelligent chat and savage skill set brings an extra fire to the Bognor RFC belly.
Chris Webb not only used his brute strength to make yards but revealed a more dainty side with his dancing footwork and beautiful handling skills. Bognor continued to dominate in every aspect and at half time Tom James was replaced for Riley Chute in what looks to be the Fijian’s last match for Bognor RFC and we wish him the best for the future. Jeremy Newton Young was brought on for Player coach Toone with Darren Bidwell replacing James Barlow.
Bidwell made an instant impact, the professional pine cone collector bursting through the opposition’s defence before feeding fellow substitute Newton-Young who samba’d his way over the line. Power converted again and Bognor were now leading by A LOT.
Newcombe once again made light work of his opposite man as he has done so often this season. The 13 sure can defend as well, by this point the IOW didn’t know what to do when they ran down Gains and Newcombe’s channel.
Balchin was having the game of his life, he was in his element at 6 and his ferocious carrying and defence made the crowd and his team mates roar. The home side could have easily let off the gas but did no such thing, they continued to rack up the points with the game ending 113-0 at the final whistle.
Sean Power slotted 13/17 kicks and the young fly half is sitting at 87% kick success this season. Balchin was interviewed at the final whistle and had this to say about the performance “This is what it is all about, I love this team and we go again next Saturday at Overton; thank you to all the boys that have played for me”
1. Christopher Webb
2. Venci Angelov
3. Thomas James
4. James Barlow
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. Jack Hornibrook
15. Joshua Riggall
16. Riley Chute
17. Jeremy Newton-Young
18. Darren Bidwell
By Thomas James