Islanders marooned as Bognor rugby aces turn on the style

Bognor on the attack against the islanders / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Bognor on the attack against the islanders / Picture by Kate Shemilt

The sun was shining and it proved a glorious day for Bognor as they put in a performance many will want to see repeated throughout the season as they beat Sandown and Shanklin 26-0 at Hampshire Avenue in Hampshire League division one.

S&S started strongly with many heavy carries in the midfield and around the fringes, but brutal defence from Adam Knight, George Castleton and Chris Webb slowed this down and Joshua Burgess cleared comfortably after the turnover.

Bognor began to show what they are made of and eight phases from midfield down to the S&S 22 created a penalty and Dave Sweeney pinged one into the corner.

S&S cleared their lines after consistent Bognor pressure, and a fumble from Bognor meant S&S had chance to build a few strong phases in the backline – but the home side defended mightily with Sweeney and Sam Newcombe firing massive shots in the midfield.

Bognor had the momentum again and slick hands from Billy Toone, Darren Bidwell and Sweeney meant Jack Hornibrook could shape up an excellent hard-running line straight into the heart of the S&S 22. A glorious offload saw captain Shane Stevens finish over the whitewash. Sweeney converted for a 7-0 lead.

There followed some outright savagery in the midfield from Webb and Tom James. The away sides defence were sucked into the middle of the park and Sweeney thrust an excellent kick into Stevens’ hands and he dotted down for his second try.

Bognor began to show what they are made of and eight phases from midfield down to the S&S 22 created a penalty and Dave Sweeney pinged one into the corner.

Riley Chute dominated all day from the kick-offs with Aaron Cook behind him. The front-row combination powered through to set up lovely forward ball.

Ryan Power started to show why he is going to be a massive loss when he returns to Oxford, the young hooker/back-row with some excellent carries and breakdown work.

Bognor proved Hampshire Avenue will be a fortress for any team in this league to visit as excellent defence on the 5m line was kept up for ten minutes until Hornibrook turned over spectacularly on the right touchline.

The second half saw more Bognor domination in all aspects. Good controlled phases from forwards and backs meant Toone could control the game from the base alongside Sweeney.

Young winger Paddy Burnett scored again in jhis second Bognor appearance. An overlap developed in the midfield and Burgess fed the hungry talent who finished delightfully. Sweeney’s conversion made it 19-0.

Joshua Riggall and Seve Perez were introduced, showing Bognor’s strength in depth this year is outstanding.

Joshua Riggall sidestepped two defenders and carried the ball before feeding outside centre Burgess with a gorgeous pass to send him under the posts and Bognor to cloud nine. The conversion made it 26-0.

The only downside was a late injury to superstar Newcombe, who was hurt by a late tackle.

This week Bognor are away to US Portsmouth.

Bognor: Cook, Power, Chute, Webb, James, Bidwell, Knight, Castleton, Toone, Sweeney, Stevens, Newcombe, Burgess, Burnett, Hornibrook, Perez, Riggall.