Beaten by Bognor!
17 - 31
Bognor 2’s played three leagues above us last season, but due to Sussex rfu’s league reshuffle, we found ourselves facing the purple shirts in the newly formed Sussex 3 league, a league for second teams and below. It was obviously going to be a bruising encounter, but pre season had gone well and confidence was high.
When I met the Bognor captain before the game, I thrust my hand out and said “I’m Matt, whats your name”. He replied “I’m fresh” to which I responded, “Yes, but you haven’t warmed up yet”. It turns out, his name was Fresh, and I nearly asked if he was a prince from Bel Air (with dice on his mirror).
After a bright start, a kick through from the excellent Bognor flyhalf drew a penalty that was kicked to the corner. The resulting line out saw the much larger Bognor pack expertly maul over our line for the first try of the game, this was followed by another try when their 10 somehow strolled through our defence to dot down under the posts for a 12 nil lead. We now definitely knew we were in a game!
Having butchered a couple of opportunities with some horrible handling errors (sorry boys), we started to iron out the mistakes. A nice backs move saw Marriott break the line and feed Brooke who, with still work to do, beat his man to score our first. A nice move from the boys in purple released their winger down the right who beat a couple of defenders, but was then clearly tackled into touch before offloading. Unfortunately, the Bognor linesman didn’t see it the same way and the try was awarded. Back came G’s forwards to score a lovely mauled try of their own and the whistle went for the half with the score at 12 - 17.
We knew that to be only five points down when we had played pretty average, the game was there for the taking if we just got our structure going, and so we did - We started the second period like a train. A wonderful break by Sandys saw him streak down the pitch and was finally brought down in the oppo 22. Quick recycling by the silky Frankie, saw the ball whipped out to the left where the enigmatic Tom Keeley gratefully strode over to pull the scores level. More possession followed, good breaks from Halligey, Spridell, and another searing run from Sandys, should have earned us points but the Bognor defence stayed solid.
Heartbreak was to follow as Bognor scored two quick fire tries in the last 10 minutes to leave us disappointed and thinking about what could have been! The worst thing for me was having helped a Bognor centre stretch out his cramp, to see him score a try a moment later made me wish I wasn’t such a Florence Nightingale!
Disappointing, but not all bad! Massive thanks to George, Max, Liam and Ben, playing their first game for EG seniors. All of you were excellent! Lampkin started this season the way he finished last and had an excellent game, Brim had a fine game in his first season as prop, but my MoM goes to Tom Sandys after two runs of great quality and excitement. The other great news was Bath beating Sarries which cheered me no end!
Next week is Burgess Hill at home. A great opportunity to put this right and chalk up some points on the league table. See you all at training.
Just finally to say thank you to the Bognor boys for a good game of rugger played in the best of spirits. Before KO, we observed a minutes silence to pay respects to one of the Bognor club stalwarts who sadly passed away last week. All our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends - see you all again ‘down south’ later in the season.