Bognor consolidated their third spot in rugby's Hampshire premier division with a 66-0 win away to Gosport and Fareham seconds.
The away side had the early momentum and hard carries from usual suspects Josh Burgess and Chris Webb got Bognor moving. Gosport looked to defend hard off the line, and Adam Knight and Adam Groome were mighty in the early stages.
The first score came from Bognor’s young fly-half Jeremy Newton-Young, the defensive line blitzing excellently and the number 10 plucking the egg way above his head. The conversion made it 7-0.
The home side missed a simple penalty and Tom Orchard and James Barlow began to dominate the breakdown and some effective short phases from Barlow gave Bognor room to play out wide.
Billy Toone at 12 was looking fired up with his outside number Sam Newcombe ready to smash as usual. The 13 made a destructive break out wide, ; the speedster feeding the clinical Dan Robinson who got his first try of the day - Newtown-Young's conversion made it 14-0.
Jack Hornibrook was a constant around the breakdown and in the defensive line. The No9 fed captain Burgess who steamed over from 20 yards to touch down. Another great kick meant it was 21-0.
It came as no shock that George Castleton was dominating every one-v-one battle, his carrying and tackling second to none as Gosport tried to disrupt in any way they could. Bognor had not won a scrum and gave away two penalties in a row at the set-piece. Harry Stubbs had a quiet first half and was replaced by Tom James after he suffered a head injury.
The final score of the first half came from young starlet Paddy Burnett, the aspiring P.E teacher latching on to a great offload from Robinson.
Bognor started the second half immensely, and great defence in the line-out from Webb and Barlow made mincemeat of the home side’s set piece and saw two of their best players go off injured. Scrums were now uncontested and Bognor saw a clean break through the hands of the backs, Toone feeding Newcombe who burst through a hole and popped to Robinson for his second. Suddenly it was 33-0.
Castleton was in his stride and turned over brilliantly with the help of back-row partner Knight, the No7 feeding Newcombe who proceeded to assist with ease again; this time to Hornibrook.
Bognor’s back line could taste blood and Robinson was desperate for a hat-trick, Hornibrook turned the ball over and supplied the ball to Burgess who broke the line and used the support line of Robinson. The No15 secured his hat-trick and another JNY kick took it to 47-0.
Josh Riggall was introduced for Toone and the big centre made an immediate impact with a lovely hit upright and a few naughty penalties. Robinson was loving it out wide and scored again with the help of Newcombe and Burgess. Chris Hay was doing everything but score and the exciting utility back was tackling and running with great conviction. It wouldn’t be a league game if Burnett didn’t get on the scoresheet, the winger running it in with a smile on his face.
Newton-Young finished the game with a precision ball out to Burnett, who scored again to take his record to 16 in 14 games. The final score was 66-0.
Gordon Bailey came on and did a stint around the ruck and maul in place of Barlow. This was a much-needed win for Bognor and they are now just six points behind second-placed Sandown and Shanklin.
Bognor have a cup tie against Hastings & Bexhill this weekend.
Bognor: Webb, Groome, Stubbs, Barlow, Orchard, Castleton, Knight, Burgess, Hornibrook, Newton-Young, Hay, Toone, Newcombe, Burnett, Robinson, Bailey, James, Riggall.