Chineham 32 – 10 Bognor
Tries: Mansfield (3), Lingham (2), Jacob Cons: Jacob (1) MOTM: Mansfield
A Heroic Performance
A heroic performance from the Lions to kick-start our season. Travelling with 14 due to injuries, the Lions started strong, dominating collisions in midfield and gaining the upper hand in the set piece. Unlike previous fast starts, the boys hauled themselves over the whitewash first, Mikey Jacob finishing brutally off the back of a successful driving maul. Chineham kept up the pressure, and after a great one-handed pick up from Tom Scoble, Ben Mansfield muscled his way over to make it 10-0 to Chineham at the break.
Bognor started the second half strongly, capitalising on some hesitancy at the breakdown due score out wide. Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly squashed, with Mansfield finishing after a period of consistent offending by the hosts. This kick-started a purple patch for the Lions, with a loop from Soper allowing Matt Lingham to score under the sticks, converted by Jacob. This was swiftly followed by another Lingham score, the fly-half showing his strength to bulldoze through the midfield. The Lions continued to apply the pressure, and after another strong scrum by the Chineham pack, Mansfield wriggled and wrestled his way over to complete his hat trick. Bognor managed to secure the final score of the game out wide but it finished 32-10 to the Lions.
Man of the match a closely run thing, with outstanding performances from 1-14. Chris Heywood and Spencer Taylor anchoring the scrum all day long, Pat O’Brien rolling back the years with a dominant set piece performance, Lee Rudden and Mike Amor being juggernauts in the row, Mikey Jacob and Sam Athroll dominating in the loose and Eddie Savory looking brutal in his first match in the forwards. With Soper, Lingham, Mansfield and Scoble running all over the Bognor midfield, Nathan Hitchings covering a huge area defensively and Joe Belcher jinking and weaving all over the pitch in his full debut. Ultimately Mansfield hat trick gave him the slight nudge, alongside an assured and committed defensive performance.
Dick of the day another well-contested award, with Amor’s grubber into touch just nudging Soper slotting one into Belcher’s head with the try line beckoning.
The lions are back in action next week, in the rearranged fixture against Aldershot and Fleet, hope to see a big crowd down to support the boys after their heroic performance yesterday.