Bognor RFC vs Fordingbridge RFC
26th January 2019
The highly anticipated top of the table clash saw Bognor host Fordingbridge in what would be one of the most sought to watch games in the Hampshire Premier.
The home side started bright with a try from kick off, fly-half Dave Sweeney zipped the ball out wide to his pace men Dan Robinson and Sam Newcombe, the outside centre dotting down within 30 seconds of the whistle blowing. 5-0.
Bridge were kicking excellently and using the strong wind to their advantage, the territory was theirs and they began to force Bognor into penalty conceding situations. Finally gaining a kicking chance to make it 5-3.
Josh Burgess wasn’t having any of it and made a clean line break before busting his gut to get outside his man on the right wing and finish in the corner. 10-3.
The boys in green were now under relentless pressure from the away side, Paddy Burnett and Tom Orchard were putting their bodies on the line in defence to prevent any Fordingbride scores. The scrum then felt the pressure as the bridge made light work of Bognor in front of the posts. A great turnover from Adam Knight and George Castleton meant Sweeney could clear to relieve the constant barrage.
The men in blue then struck at the heart of Bognor’s midfield, Ross Bealey the number 7 rolling over from a great 5 man line-out. 10-10.
Bognor were not in control of this home fixture and frequently gave away penalties despite showing flashes of brilliance with ball in hand. Chris Webb and Adam Groome looked dangerous all game, making valuable yards with every carry.
The bridge then scored a drop goal to take the lead in the tie. 10-13.
The second-half started with the home side knowing they had to begin to control this game otherwise they would have no chance in securing the much needed W. Jack Hornibrook was smashing everything that came down his channel and beginning to string his passes together, this helped Bognor control the tempo of the game and Josh Riggall began to stamp his mark on the fixture with some heavy ball carrying and expert handling out wide.
It came as no shock that Bognor’s next score was ear marked by some physical Webby carrying, the loose-head bowling away the poor defenders and smashing over the white line. Sweeney kicks good, 17-13.
George Hutchinson was then brought on at loose-head for Tom James and Webby shifted into tight head. The young prop making his debut for the club and packing down with his childhood lover Orchard. Darren Bidwell was also introduced after a long spell out of the game, the ever developing second row making an immediate impact with some vicious tackling.
The forwards carried well again off 9 & 10 and Castleton made mince meat of his opposite man, Webby broke through shortly after and fed Bidwell who stepped and popped to Newcombe who as always finished with ease. 22-13.
Jeremy Newton-Young was then brought on for the talented Chris Hay. The young winger not putting a foot wrong all game.
Sweeney was now feeling the power boost from the 6kg loaf of Soreen he killed off in the changing room and turned into Gandalf the White. The wizard put the captain through a lovey hole out wide before the amateur bricklayer assisted Burnett who scored again to take his tally for the season too... who cares. 27-13.
The bridge then kicked off and Robinson took the high ball well, he proceeded to gallop using his long breadstick legs and absolutely fizz from Corrie’d a pass out to 14 Burnett who then left the crowd in applause with some stunning footwork and pace to burn. 34-13 after Merlin slotted.
Bognor then carried again after the kick off, James Barlow demolishing the ruck to give Haystacks the opportunity to snipe and lift to CW. Robinson latched onto the pass out wide and scored a well deserved try. 39-13.
Man of the Match Paddy Burnett had this to say after the final whistle. “I can’t wait to get home and tell my parents how fast I ran today, well done Bognor”
1. Christopher Webb
2. Adam Groome
3. Tom James
4. James Barlow
5. Tom Orchard
6. George Castleton
7. Adam Knight
8. Josh Burgess
9. Jack Hornibrook
10. Dave Sweeney
11. Chris Hay
12. Joshua Riggall
13. Sam Newcombe
14. Paddy Burnett
15. Dan Robinson
16. George Hutchinson
17. Jeremy Newton Young
18. Darren Bidwell