Bognor battle in vain again - now relegation looms

Life doesn’t get any easier for Bognor after another brave effort that ultimately nothing to aid their battle against the drop from London two south west - a 50-21 loss at Old Reigatians

Bognor aimed to put behind them the mauling they suffered at the hands of Wimbledon the previous week.

The game started with Bognor handing their opponents easy points with basic errors. In a blink of the eye Reigatians were away and scoring at will as they opened up a 28-0 lead with converted tries in the opening 15 minutes.

Bognor’s much-changed side had to cut out errors and start to control possession. To their credit, for the next 50 minutes they dominated and controlled the pace with outstanding teamwork.

Props Armundus Morgan and Graham Broome put in their best performances of the season with outstanding work on the wing. Quick possession was quickly moved to wing Josh Riggall, whose pace and power took him away from the defence as he passed inside to Dave Sweeney for an easy try.

Bognor began to play with more confidence and Dan Brock at centre made easy ground. His delicate hands sent Sussex sprinter Shane Stevens tearing down the touchline, and only a great covering tackle prevented another score.

Pinpoint accuracy from veteran Paul Mitchell and the athleticism of debutant Chris Misslebrook proved a great source of possession and, from an attacking lineout, the pair combined for Karl Flinn to gallop away down the touchline, with Mitchell supporting for the easy task of falling over the line.

Bognor had the breeze at their backs for the second time and were only two scores adrift.

Ainsley Howard came on for veteran Flinn to add youthful energy to the back row.

Bognor attacked the home try line without success for ten minutes and went through several phases with no joy. Broome went closest when the man mountain built up a head of steam and sent defenders flying. Only the touchline thwarted the heavyweight prop.

Old Reigatians were limited to counter-attacks from deep in their own half and it seemed every time a promising attack was building for them, Brock or Ben Archer were on hand to halt them.

Bognor’s Howard thought he had made a dream debut when he squeezed over in the corner but he was adjudged to have illegally grounded the ball. The clearing penalty was sliced in to open play and man of the match Rob Legge set out on a run that bamboozled the defence for Bognor’s try of the season.

The visitors tired and Reigatians took full advantage to score a further three tries in the final 15 minutes.

Bognor will again take many positives as they gear up to face fourth-placed Guildford at Hampshire Avenue. With relegation an odds-on bet, they will look to rebuild as they aim for a more successful in 2012-13.

BOGNOR: Archer, Stevens, Brock, Sweeney, Riggall, Parry, Legge, Flinn, Groome, Balchin, Barlow, Misslebrook, Morgan, Mitchell, Broome, Haste, Howard, Watson.