Bognor show ruthless streak with late tries

Jack Tompkins claims a lineout for Bognor
Jack Tompkins claims a lineout for Bognor

BOGNOR’S league position looks much healthier after this second successive victory against a struggling Alton, whose season is starting to fall apart.

Amazingly, the score after half an hour was tied at 5-5 and, even after ten minutes of the second half, the visitors were still in the game, being just two scores behind.

The last half an hour, however, saw Bognor cut loose with a further eight tries against a demoralised and exhausted opposition to win 73-5.

In front of the largest crowd of the season, it was Alton who began on the front foot but Bognor defended comfortably and were able to clear their line, courtesy of a penalty.

Ten minutes into the match, following good work by Jack Tompkins and Vee Angelov, the ball was moved wide to Josh Riggall and the big winger flew over for the first try of the match.

Sloppy defence allowed Alton to secure possession deep inside Bognor’s 22 and the visitors took advantage of their hosts’ generosity to even the scores.

Shane Stevens did well under a high ball and his forwards repaid the winger with a great drive for the line, Graham Broome touching down for the try.

Five minutes later, Rob Parry, helping out in the absence of Lee Shergold, showed the ball to a mesmerised defence before trotting over under the posts to give Bognor a respectable half-time lead.

During the first ten minutes of the second half, Bognor reverted to previous bad habits, missing two clear scoring chances, something they will not be able to afford at U.S.Portsmouth next Saturday.

However, with Mark Ubsdell and Broome finding their targets in the lineout and the rest of the front row, Armandus Morgan and Angelov, totally dominant in the scrums, it could only be a matter of time before the dam burst.

The deluge began when, having destroyed an Alton scrum on their own put-in, the Bognor pack secured quality ball inside the visitors’ 22, allowing Tompkins to feed scrum-half Rob Legge who in turn put Connor Satturley over in the corner.

Legge, himself, making a welcome return after an absence of several weeks, was the next beneficiary of quality scrum ball as he outpaced a tiring defence for Bognor’s fifth try. Another player returning to bring much-needed experience to the young team, Lee Balchin, showed he has lost none of his power as he crashed through for the next score.

A few minutes later Parry’s cross-field kick was gratefully gathered at pace by top-scorer Riggall, allowing him to secure his eighth try of the season.

George Castleton and Josh Burgess were instrumental in some great running from their own 22 and four more tries were scored through Satturley, Angelov, Castleton himself and, finally, skipper Tompkins. Parry converted all eight second-half tries, to add to his first half converted try, finishing with a total of 23 points.

Next Saturday Bognor travel to U.S.Portsmouth whom they beat narrowly at home back in September and who now sit one place above them in the league.