Bognor’s resilience was the difference in tough tie

Romsey 15 Bognor 22

Hampshire League div one

BOGNOR laboured to their sixth bonus-point victory of the season against a much-improved and spirited Romsey side.

Romsey fielded the kick off well and establishing good territory.

Bognor’s defence stood up to the pressure but they were consistently penalised for infringements around the breakdown area.

A high-tackle allowed Romsey the opportunity to an easy three points but their fly-half put the kick wide.

Ben Archer established territory in the Romsey half and the welcome return of Mark Ubsdell saw Bognor’s lineout function superbly.

Jacob Masters took clean lineout ball but Romsey easily absorbed the phases Bognor put together.

Another lineout deep in Romsey territory resulted in a penalty and quick-thinking from the excellent Luke Calleja saw the young prop barrel over after a tap-penalty but Josh Burgess missed the conversion.

Romsey responded immediately and their kick in behind bounced in Romsey’s favour and their scrum-half capitalised to score beneath the posts, which was inevitably converted.

Veteran Tom Watson created space for his centre partner Burgess who was brought down and knocked on in the process.

From the scrum Bognor forced a turnover, allowing returning no.8 Karl Flinn to feed speedsters Sam Newcombe and Chris Clare on the blindside.

Soft hands and a powerful finish saw Clare score in the corner but the conversion was missed by Burgess.

Discipline at the breakdown improved and finally the Romsey pack tired as Bognor had hoped.

With the 40 minutes elapsed they took a bold tap-penalty on their own 22. Tompkins sold a dummy and burst downfield with support coming from Shane Stevens.

Calleja took an offload from Stevens and the ball was recycled to Ben Archer, with men raining around him, he offloaded to Chris Clare who finished the ruthlessly before Burgess converted.

The second half began slowly and Bognor conceded a penalty right in front of their posts, which gave Romsey a further three points and confidence.

Romsey used their four-man lineout well and mauled the Bognor pack backwards.

Calleja gave away a penalty and was sin-binned after he attempted to disrupt their charge.

From the ensuing lineout, Romsey used their numerical advantage to ship the ball wide into the hands of their winger who scored in the corner.

Bognor responded well to the instructions set by their coach whilst being one-man down.

Romsey were bogged down on their 5 metre line, replacement prop Ryan Langridge put pressure on their scrum and Sam Newcombe hassled his opposite number into a mistake.

The ball was spilled and Tompkins lunged to score, but Burgess did not convert.

Further ill-discipline from Bognor saw Calleja shown another yellow card for an identical mistake at a Romsey maul.

Bognor’s defence had all the answers again with Harry Dyer forcing a knock-on in the midfield to end the game.

Next week Bognor begin welcome fellow promotion hopefuls Fordingbridge at Hampshire Avenue for the 2.30 kick off.