Bognor beat Havant to show victory over leaders was no fluke
Bognor backed up the statement made by beating Hampshire premier leaders Alton when they won 24-18 away to Havant seconds.
It was another scalp from the top end of the league and meant they closed 2019 with an early Christmas present for the fans.
From the off, the visitors showed true intent regaining possession and surging through the Havant defence and into the 22m. Having applied pressure in the danger zone, the Bognor attack crumbled before the Havant defence and Havant cleared their lines.
Bognor continued to apply pressure but handling errors allowed Havant to creep back into it and find momentum of their own. Havant entered Bognor’s territory for the first time in the game to come away with three points from a penalty kick.
Josh Burgess’ green, purple and whites replied in great fashion, retrieving their own kick and working up field. With Nathan Archer charging over the opposition fly-half the foundation was set for an attack out wide.
See a gallery of pictures from the game - taken by www.yasps.co.uk - above
Metres short, Sam Newcombe picked from the base and found Chris Webb running a devastating line on his inside. The monster crashed through and dotted down on the line. Jeremy Newton Young added the goods, 3-7.
Havant forced Bognor to play in their own 22m and their winger was able to attack space. Good scrambling defence from Freddie Burgess put the counter to a halt but the pressure at the breakdown proved too much when Dan Robinson was sin-binned for an infringement. From the penalty, Havant made it 6-7 at the interval.
Havant had a new lease of life and began to attack with more conviction, while Bognor were slow to regather composure and within 15 minutes of the second half, Havant had scored two tries to lead 18-7.
Bognor realised they had to battle to get back into the game. The likes of Shane Stevens and debutant Harrison Southern were heavily involved.
Havant failed to find a touch from a clearance were punished when youngster Freddie Hayes whizzed around would-be tacklers and down the right. It looked like he may be bulldozed into touch yet with graceful feet, he left them hurtling into the dugouts as he continued infield. Deep in Havant’s 22m,
Webb continued to lead the troops whilst Newcombe continued to orchestrate the forwards phases, until he sniped around the fringes and scored a try of his own. Conversion missed, 18-12.
Urgency instigated by Darren Bidwell got Bognor again in the Havant 22m and with pressure mounting, Havant conceded a penalty 10 metres from their line. Nathan Archer was found and he trundled over the fly-half and scored under the sticks. The crucial kick was slotted, 18-19.
As the home side again began to find their rhythm, Newton Young punched above his weight and disrupted the breakdown and the turnover for Robinson to glide upfield.
Patient build-up play created space out wide which Hayes capitalised on, bagging a try to rub salt in the home side’s wounds, 18-24.
Bognor have proved the win over Alton was no fluke and they are now the in-form team.
Bognor play host to Sandown and Shanklin on Saturday, January 4.
Bognor: Webb, Balchin, Benjamin, Stevens, Bidwell, Inkle, Parsons, J Burgess, Newcombe, Newton Young, F Burgess, Archer, Robinson, Luxton, Hay, Ali, Southern, Hayes.