Ellingham 1st XV travelled to Bognor for their third away game in a row, with some debutants in the starting line up. Will Maw had a very good game at flanker and Rian Ticehurst played well on the wing.
Bognor started strongly, winning an early penalty and then scoring a converted try. Ellingham players started to click and used their back line’s pace to get back into the game. Sustained pressure on the Bognor try line and several penalties given away by the home side caused the referee to award a penalty try. Unfortunately the referee didn’t issue a yellow card for the offence. Despite not having the numbers advantage they deserved the Es started to open up and cause chaos in the home side’s defence.
Matt Raybould used his strength and speed to power over for a well worked try which Dean Young playing at fly half slotted over the conversion. Within two minutes Matt Raybould crossed the line again and Dean Young added two more points. Not to be outdone on the try scoring front Dean Young then went over for a fourth try and bonus point in the far corner, but was unable to convert his own try.
Bognor were stunned back into action by these quick scores and came back strongly testing Ellingham's defence which finally subsided just before half time. Bognor added a converted try. The half time score was Ellingham 26 - Bognor 17.
Bognor started the second half strongly and scored two quick tries both of which were converted to take the lead, not to be outdone Ellingham levelled the scores 31- 31 with a well worked try from Josh Berry following some sterling work by the forwards.
It was at this stage that Ellingham's fortunes began to turn against them, both Dean Young and Matt Raybould went off injured, followed by the prop Tom Sampson and flanker Ollie Grant. Bognor converted a penalty to regain the lead and then pounded Ellingham with their big runners. The home team scored three tries, one of which was converted. The final scoreline was 51-31 which was a tough reflection of a hard fought contest.
Ellingham finally get a home game next Saturday where they will be hosting local rivals New Milton.