Match report: 1sts v Bognor (H), Sat. 9 Dec. 2017

IW 21-22 Bognor                  Report by Dave Metcalfe

Again the Island had to cope with a decision that may have cost them the game as a penalty, signalled in the last minutes was not forthcoming, leaving them one point behind their opponents at the final whistle.

Bognor, positioned near the top of the table, could not have expected such an onslaught from their hosts as the home defence was rock solid in the early part of the game, led by Ollie Boulter and Dave Blackman. Recycled turn over ball allowed Owen Herbert to taunt the defence, weaving down the pitch to link with Gary Warvill, who cut inside and scored. Lewis Murray added the kick.

With Bognor railed by this, they galvanised their attack only for the ball to be turned over in the home 22. Herbert broke out and chipped the ball forward for Luke Chandler to cross the line. Murray again added the conversion.

The Island continued to defend their line but the pressure finally told as the visitors crossed the line.

When they were confident of a second try, Man of the Match Mikey Wood held up the scoring player and tackled him in to touch.

Bognor returned to the home 22 and from a lineout drove over to score.

The Island returned to the visitors 22 and, driving a line of their own released the ball wide for Herbert to score with the conversion from Murray.

The second half saw both sides looking to play an open game, with Bognor putting their large runners in to space and the Island looking to utilise their pace. Many opportunities were created by both sides, yet they found either solid defence or concluded with a turn over. Bognor succeeded in scoring under the post and added the kick, bringing the game to 21 to 17.

With 5 minutes to go Bognor managed to score the decisive try to take the one point lead. Then as the home side pushed well in to the visitors’ half at the end of the game, the decision not to award a penalty ended the game in home disappointment.

Despite this, with further injured players returning in January, the second half of the season can see this developing side a threat to others in Hampshire.

IWRFC: O Herbert, G Warvill, L Chandler, M Wood, D Stirrup, L Murray, T Marriott, A Hay, D Blackman, C Pudney, A Smith, O Boulter, M Newnham, S McQueen, R Martin. D Tennant, R Stewart, G Huish.