Bognor's second-half blitz has Totts tottering

Sam Newcombe with the ball in Bognor's earlier win at home to Eastleigh twos / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Sam Newcombe with the ball in Bognor's earlier win at home to Eastleigh twos / Picture by Tommy McMillan

After a close-fought first half away to Tottonians seconds, during which only one try was scored, Bognor romped away with an eight-try second half blitz and a 59-0 victory that consolidated third place.

In wet conditions and on a heavy pitch it took until five minutes before half-time for the visitors to cross the line, despite being on top throughout the half.

Six phases were put together early on involving the outstanding Nathan Archer but a certain scoring pass was judged forward by the referee.

Once again Bognor proved to be their own worst enemies at the breakdown, conceding five penalties in the first quarter of an hour. If they are guilty of the same indiscretions this Saturday at home to Basingstoke, they will certainly not be let off the hook so lightly as they were by Tottonians.

With half an hour gone a minor scuffle escalated into a brawl, at the end of which the referee issued two red cards, one of them to Bognor’s talented second row Darren Bidwell.

The home side’s blitz defence was under huge pressure but held on for another few minutes until Dave Sweeney followed up his own kick into acres of space. The visitors’ pack quickly regained possession and Sweeney threw a long pass to Jeremy Newton-Young, allowing the full-back to put winger Paddy Burnett over in the corner.

Early in the second half it became clear injuries and fatigue had taken their toll on the home team and it really was just a question of how big the scoreline would end up being.

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Within a few minutes Burnett had used his pace to carve a huge hole in the Totts defence and Newcombe was at hand to touch down for Bognor’s second try.

Josh Burgess was next to smash through the middle for a trademark try before Shane Stevens, making a welcome return after injury, beat six players in a mesmerising display of footwork. The big winger found Archer on his shoulder and he passed to Chris Hay who touched down for a great try on his first start for the 1st XV.

As Bognor turned up the intensity the ball went through six pairs of hands before Newcombe flew over for his second try of the afternoon, the in-form centre grabbing his hat-trick just two minutes later.

Man-of-the-match Hay finished off another great bout of handling with his second try of the afternoon before George Castleton belied his years by showing a clean pair of heels to the opposition and sprinting over from forty metres out.

In a superb display of goal-kicking Sweeney converted six of the second-half tries, two of them from the touchline, to add to the home side’s woes.

Bognor entertain top-of-the-table Basingstoke on Saturday (2pm).

Bognor: Newton-Young, Burnett, Newcombe, Archer, Hay, Sweeney, Toone, Webb, Groome, Cox, Bidwell, Orchard, Knight, Burgess, Castleton. Reps: Voigt, Stubbs, Stevens.