Bognor reign in the rain as Alresford are beaten

Dave Sweeney goes over, with Jack Hornibrook in support / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Dave Sweeney goes over, with Jack Hornibrook in support / Picture by Kate Shemilt

The first rainy Saturday of the season saw Bognor pass one of their hardest tests of the season as they beat Alresford 11-5 in the Hampshire premier.

Bognor started well and looked to carry strong and swiftly. George Castleton and Chris Webb began the forward phases from the passing of Jack Hornibrook, who has been in excellent form. Alresford defended well around the ruck area but struggled out wide against the hands of David Sweeney and the pace of Sam Newcombe.

Sean Power was the first on the scoresheet, the youngster playing his final game for Bognor following confirmation of his dream move to Loughborough University and slotting a penalty for a 3-0 lead.

Darren Bidwell looked to be injured early on but slowly became a nightmare around the park for Alresford, the back row/second row utility man gliding around and chopping every Alresford carrier.

Captain Joshua Burgess was leading by example, tackling everything in sight and running with conviction in the loose. The No8 is proving on the pitch that he can lead this team for years to come.

Bognor weren’t playing badly, but the Alresford scrum was making the home side look weak and they dominated in this area. The away side scored a pushover on the Bognor five and went 5-3 up.

After half-time Bognor knew they had their work cut out if they were going to come out with a win in the downpour.

David Sweeney was next to grab some points, the inside centre running a wicked line through the midfield and showing he can just about let the handbrake off – it was 8-5 but Power missed the conversion.

Bognor batter Millbrook
Ready to make mark in premier division
Bognor showed a never-ending passion and determination to ensure the away side would not score again. Lee Mason did what was asked in the scrum and hit a number of rucks. Bidwell, Castleton and Webb stood up front and made sure no-one broke the gain line.

The back three of Shane Stevens, Dan Robinson and Paddy Burnett did not have much ball but when they had to work they proved their worth.

Alex Bosley was dogged in the final stages after taking a while to rise to the occasion. Bidwell made yards when he carried and destroyed opposition in the loose, but his most important role was in the lineout and he stole at least 60 per cent of the away side’s ball.

Matt Cox and Will Cullen were introduced and made a great impact, Cox strengthening the scrum.

Bognor scored next with an easy penalty for Power – 11-5. The away side did not stop coming at Bognor but final whistle blew and the home side erupted into celebration.

Bognor visit Fordingbridge on October 6.