On Friday night, it looked as though the BaBas would be suffering another Saturday playing short-handed, and dealing with a permanent overlap, but the hard work of a few saw some late recruitment and come 2 o’clock the kick-off saw 15 on the pitch and a bench of 2 (1 ½?).
Bognor 2s are having a good season and sit joint top of “Harvey’s of Sussex 3”, so it was going to be a tough afternoon in the cold and wind on the Sussex coast. From the kick-off it was apparent that the Bognor tactic was big forward runners through the middle to create space for a pacey set of backs. A simple enough plan made easier by some poor early tackling by Horsham. The BaBas soon found themselves 3 scores behind, but started to find some rhythm. The lineout orchestrated by Jamie was winning some ball, and more importantly disrupting Bognors. The scrum, whilst under pressure at times was providing ball to the backs who were making inroads, led by Sharkey Dan Bourne. James Weir provide a threat from 15. Gorm Young, making his debut for Horsham at 9 was organising and distributing with effect and Horsham grew into the game. Tackles were still being missed and a couple more scores saw half time looming.
A penalty in the middle of the park for Horsham was awarded to Horsham, and a booming kick from Rich Sutton saw the BaBas with a line out 5 metres out. A clean catch was tidied and the drive was well executed for the try with Red applying the finish (Don’t listen to Sage, he was nowhere near it!).
The second half kicked-off and for 15 minutes, Horsham held Bognor scoreless. Tackle that had been missed earlier were made, the defensive line was better organised, and the team stepped up the pace. Sadly it did not last, as fatigue started to tell. Liam Sturt was substituted to see Damian make his debut, not just for Horsham but in a rugby match, welcome to the game! A stud to the ankle saw Jamie off, but on the plus side, Fish made his return after injury. The plus was short lived as at his first attempt to catch a pass, the captain showed after 3 months his hands no longer worked!
The last 20 minute or so was all Bognor, but the BaBas kept playing to the whistle. The front row of Ewan, Popeye and Fubar was tireless as ever, Popeye getting a nasty gash on the cheek for his pains. Tom Mathias, enjoying a rare outing was looking for trouble, deputising for Lee. Andy playing his first game since school carried and tackled well, and the stalwart Chris Mallows started on the wing, finished in the pack epitomising the BaBas. Thanks to Bognor Rugby Club for the welcome, and good luck to them in the remainder of their league campaign.
A poor result, but a performance full of heart and determination, with flashes of promise. Any of you reading this who fancy a game, make yourselves known to anyone at the club who can put you in touch with Fish, the BaBas captain. All ages and abilities are welcome. Training at Horsham on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.30pm. If more BaBas players can attend, myself included, the better chance we have of finishing the season on the up.
Bognor 2s 51 – 5 Horsham Barbarians