Rugby: Bognor rue missed opportunities at Guildford

Bognor were again left to rue missed opportunities in another good performance at Guildford, losing 31-10 in a London two south west game from which they could have easily walked away with a bonus point.

From the first scrum the Gs drove Bognor off their own ball and a precise kick to the corner had the visitors under pressure.

A clean catch and drive against the throw was driven expertly and the opening score went to the Guildford flanker.

Bognor’s pack dug deep to repel surges by Guildford, and sound defence in the centre by Dan Brock and Josh Burgess nullified chances out wide.

Skipper Lee Balchin made inroads, supported by Lee Thompson, but inaccuracy in the final passes let Guildford off the hook several times.

Ill discipline cost Bognor and after several infringements a yellow card was harshly shown to debutant Chris Barlow, brother of ex-Bognor player Scott, which left Bognor under pressure.

The Guildford pack drove fiercely at the Bognor line and their prop scored a converted try.

Bognor fought back and Nigel Mitchell was instrumental. Ben Burns found Jack Tompkins in the lineout and Ben Archer thundered through for a converted try.

Bognor’s pack gained parity and the backline started to attack. Archer arrowed through tackles and Dave Sweeney’s run and sidesteps created a chance for Burgess, only for an illegal tackle to halt the youngster. Rob Parry converted the easy penalty to narrow the gap to two points.

In the second half a Guildford penalty extended their lead within the first ten minutes.

Bognor gained possession with a Mitchell turnover as the backs spun the ball to Josh Riggall. His pass found Armundus Morgan who showed great feet to dribble along the touchline, only for great cover to prevent a try.

Riggall was clattered and forced off, and 18-year-old Ashley Butt emerged to produce an outstanding display to claim the man-of-the-match award.

In one break, his pace outstripped the defence and freed Archer. His pass to Sweeney looked to have sent the full-back over – only for it to be judged a forward pass.

Tony Johnston and debutant Adam Groome came on to solidify the scrum, which forced Guildford to open up their own backline. A tired Bognor defence yielded a converted try.

Butt’s pace took him clear of any support and chances went begging. A deft set-up by Parry was perfect for Sweeney, who linked with Brock and only a great covering tackle prevented the offload to Balchin.

Guildford went the length of the field to score a well-worked try on the stroke of full-time.

Bognor can again be proud of their efforts and hope Lady Luck will look down on them at home to London Cornish on December 3.

BOGNOR: Sweeney, Riggall, Burgess, Brock, Archer, Parry, Legge, Balchin, Mitchell, Tompkins, Barlow, Thompson, Morgan, Burns, Citriue, Johnson, Butt, Groome.