Rugby: Bognor’s win is not just run of the Mill

It's try-time in Bognor's win over Millbrook / Picture by Tommy McMillan
It's try-time in Bognor's win over Millbrook / Picture by Tommy McMillan

BOGNOR won a thrilling first home game of the season 36-20 and claimed a bonus point against a Millbrook side who relegated the Hampshire Avenue side to third in the league last term.

Millbrook brought a strong squad in the belief they could repeat the mauling they gave Bognor at their place last season in Hampshire League division one. With a large and vocal crowd behind them, Bognor raced out of the blocks in style with a well-worked move and exceptional aggression that saw the youngest of the Mitchell brothers crash over under the posts from 15 metres out.

It was converted by Jack Hornibrook put Bognor 7-0 up in five minutes.

Millbrook had a few kicks at the sticks from long distance as a result of silly penalties and it was only a matter of time before the Millbrook No10 found his range.

Bognor No10 Pat Gibbs was having a storming game, with passes hitting hands and kicks making the forward play easy.

He scored next as a dainty chip and chase ball bounced straight into his hands and three sidesteps later he went under the posts to score. Extras were added by Hornibrook.

Bognor’s drift defence held firm, with the approval of coach Ron Outen, until the pressure told and the inevitable missed tackle allowed Millbrook back in with a soft try and conversion.

Half-time arrived with Bognor dominating the set-piece, with a front-row debut from colt Joe Greenslade. With Mark Ubsell and ex-Bulgarian international Vencislav doing well, scrum time was comfortable, the lineouts were working well, confidence was high and territory was key.

Bognor’s kick chase was working and a third try was engineered after the ball went through three phases and all the backline hands.

A deft offload from giant centre Burgess led to Gibbs in the corner being held up five metres short, scrum-half Newcombe floated the ball to Masters, who crashed over using his 6ft 7in frame to plant the ball over the line. The conversion was missed.

A yellow card for winger Stevens did not help the hosts’ cause and Millbrook took advantage and scored out wide with extras. Back to full numbers, Bognor pressed and amending his time off earlier winger and ex-triple jumper Stevens scored in the corner – a very well-worked try.

More wrong decisions at the ruck area saw more penalties and Millbrook’s No10 had more attempts, one of which was good.

Bognor can switch off sometimes, but not this time. Gibbs bagged a superb second after substitute Riggall’s long pass out wide saw the No10 cut in from wide to under the posts. Extras were secured by Hornibrook, who was then carded for a incident off the ball.

Millbrook were tiring and Bognor’s 14 men spent the last ten minutes in the opposition’s 22, but it took a special moment from scrum-half Newcombe, who found winger Watson. He belied his years to meet a superb cross-field kick, which fell into the arms of the Millbrook tight head prop, who was bemused at the fact the winger had stripped the ball and scored before he could react.

Coaches Outen and Broome were happy with the the team and individuals.

This week Bognor host Petersfield at Hampshire Avenue (1pm).

BOGNOR: Angelou, Ubsell, Greenslade, Barlow, James, Mitchell, Masters, Balchin, Newcombe, Gibbs, Watson, Burgess, Archer, Stevens, Hornibrook, Dyer, Riggall, Broome.

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