Why Roly is so pleased to see Bognor rugby heroes

Roly Cole, second from left, meets up again with three of the Bognor lifesavers
Roly Cole, second from left, meets up again with three of the Bognor lifesavers

Bognor’s rugby players set off to Southsea Nomads’ tens tournament knowing it was for a very relevant cause.

It had been organised by Nomads as a fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation and Headway, the brain injury association, after one of their players Roly Cole had collapsed suddenly at Bognor RFC last season.

Roly was resuscitated by club members at Bognor and, after a long stay in hospital, made a good recovery. The tournament was a chance for some of those involved to meet Roly and his family for the first time since his release from hospital.

The Nomads took the opportunity to present tankards to the Bognor players in appreciation of their efforts.

On the pitch, Bognor’s first game was against Gosport. Unfortunately, the opposition had not received the memo about this being a fun charity event and took the game seriously, running in too many tries to count and winning 71-0.

Game two against Petersfield was a chance for Bognor to turn around their fortunes. Bognor’s squad had been swelled by the Blake twins and they were able to call on the impact subs of Brown and Mitchell to further bolster the side.

Rampaging runs from Thompson, Page, Slade and Pigden, combined with silky offloads from Hay, saw Bognor take advantage. Quick footwork and deft passing by Dudley, Weller, Cox and Johnson resulted in scores and a 34-5 win.

Next, Bognor were up against the hosts. Nomads went two scores ahead but Bognor came back into it and the half-time score was 15-14 in favour of Nomads.

In the second half, Nomads scored several unanswered tries for a final score of 36-14.

Against Fareham, Bognor hauled themselves together for their final effort but, after a good start, fatigue set in and Fareham ran out 43-7 winners.

BOGNOR: Cox, Hay, Page, Blake. I, Blake. J, Brown, Mitchell, Dudley, Weller, Slade, Pigden, Hodgetts, Thompson, Johnson.