Horsham travelled to Bognor to find conditions significantly different from those experienced by a number of the team the week before. Gone was the wind and rain, and the Babas were greeted by sunshine and blue skies. With a large number of the team having played against, and beaten, Bognor 2s the previous week, there was a good level of confidence that Horsham could pick up another win.
Bognor had other ideas!
The initial exchanges set the pattern for the game. Horsham were looking to exploit a rapid set of backs with quick ball whilst Bognor were using a strong forward game around the fringes. Despite having the bulk of possession and position early on, Horsham were first to concede, when a break on the left showed Bognor were no slouches out wide, scoring in the left corner. Bognor started to dominate the game making Horsham work hard in defence. The Babas experienced front row of Fubar, Popeye and Red, supported by Lee and Andy in the engine room, had the upper hand in the scrums, and the lineout was (mostly) working well. When the ball was making it to the backs, Johnny O and Dickie were making ground in the centre, but Horsham just couldn’t break down a determined Bognor side. A second score saw the Bognor lead out to 12 points, and Horsham were absorbing a lot of pressure. Just before half time a counter attack from deep saw Jack Trowsdale score under the posts after a mazy run through the fragmented defence.
Half time score 12-7
Bognor came out for the second half with added energy, and the Horsham pack were being tested once more. The Babas matched everything thrown at them, and gave more in return, but Bognor still stretched their lead with another hard earned try. With the game starting to get a bit fractious, Horsham made some tactical changes and this upped the Babas tempo. With Bognor beginning to tire, Ted Powell, Ed Cresswell and Sage started to make some impact attacking from the back row. Bognor were still running and defending hard, but gaps were beginning to show. Horsham brought the scores level with about 20 minutes left and more pace and power was introduced with Mike Zewoi and Luke Powell off the bench. Giles Barber, making a return after injury, and Ben Pirt added another dynamic and Horsham finally reaped the rewards of a hard fought 60 minutes. 2 tries in quick succession sealed the win for Horsham, Johnny O with a break through the middle, and Simon using his pace to good effect once more. Marshy was unlucky not to get on the scoreboard, when he was adjudged to have put a foot in touch following a textbook backs move.
The second half performance was capped off by 2 incidents of note; first a deft kick by Johnny was recovered by the Bognor full back who turned to be confronted by a wall of at least 10 green shirted players closing fast, and no support to be seen. Second, was a great steal from the ruck followed by a barrelling run by Luke that saw him held up just short of the line, but Lee was there in support to score (As Fubar was off the pitch by this point, Lee had no-one to throw ball forward to).
A hard-earned win against an experienced and tough Bognor side.
Final score Bognor III 17-38 Horsham Barbarians
Jim Richards (c), Guy Viney, Nick White, Lee Maguire, Andy Thornton, Ed Cresswell, Ted Powell, Nick Sage, James Layzell, Johnny Ordidge, Sergio Bebiano, Richard Sutton, Dan Kelly, Jack Trowsdale, Simon Parker – Subs. Giles Barber, Ben Pirt, Luke Powell, Chris Mallows, Mike Zewoi
Try scorers – Jack, Andy, Simon, Johnny, Dickie, Lee