Awful trip doesn’t help Bognor back on track

Jack Hornibrook snipes for Bognor at Old Cranleighans / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Jack Hornibrook snipes for Bognor at Old Cranleighans / Picture by Tommy McMillan
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Traffic issues meant Bognor arrived late at Old Cranleighans and had only a 15-minute warm-up – but this seemed to work as, for the first time this season, they started the brighter.

Bognor were dominating field position and winning the contact in the London three south west clash. A couple of early attacks were thwarted by a strong OC defence but Bognor stayed camped in the opposition 22.

A kick in behind and a brilliant chase and tackle by George Castleton, who was excellent all game, gave Bognor an attacking scrum 5m out. A nice back row move put Bognor 2m out.

Some attempts were stopped by a resolute defence but quick hands put Shane Stevens in the corner for the first try of the game. Conversion missed.

OC came back into it and were winning the kicking battle. This gave them good field position and uncharacteristically, Bognor had two or three loose lineouts.

One overthrow on their own 5m was picked off by OC and held up but the resulting pressure led to a score. Conversion missed.

Quick hands put Shane Stevens in the corner for the first try of the game.

Straight from kick-off a long kick was dropped into touch and Bognor had an attacking line out ten metres from the line.

But this was overthrown and OC turned defence into attack as they used sharp hands to give the winger space outside and he gained 50m before stopped and the ball put in to touch.

OCs then sliced through the middle after some confusion in the Bognor defence. The conversion gave them a 12-5 lead.

The half finished with an easy penalty for OC in front of the posts for a 15-5 lead.

Bognor were frustrated they hadn’t quite got into the game despite the good start. And the frustration showed through players not looking after the ball, tackles being missed and players not working together.

Two quick scores followed from OC and it was 27-5. Bognor were deflated and lost three players through injury in the next five minutes.

They continued to try to play with some nice line breaks from Stevens, Sam Newcombe and Castleton. But they came to nothing.

Bognor got good field position and a half-break from Michael Calton was recycled quickly, putting Stevens in the corner for his second try to pull it back to 27-10.

The floodgates opened with 25 minutes to play when another injury, this one to a front row, meant Bognor were down to 14 men.

As Bognor tried to speed the game up to salvage something it played in to OC hands as they played some lovely running rugby in open play against Bognor players dead on their feet.

Another four scores followed and the final score was 52-10 – and after a competitive first half, Bognor were disappointed with how it finished.

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