On a frosty night, Bognor vets and a large number of supporters made the trip for the rematch at Worthing, under floodlights, with Worthing Vets. It was a good contest and finished 15-15.
Despite there being two other games at Bognor on Saturday, the yets mustered a huge squad of 22.
The first game was a frustrating affair for Bognor, who had seen several errors put paid to their chances of victory – and this time, they were out for revenge.
On arrival at Worthing, a semi-frozen pitch suggested the game would be called off but, after negotiation, it was decided it was ‘game on’.
Worthing were quickest out of the blocks, showing their strength by battering the Bognor defence and progressing up the field in waves. The visitors were unable to stem the Worthing tide and the home side soon went over for their first score.
Bognor woke up, led by a resurgent Roy Sargeant, who made several forays into the Worthing line. Unlike the first game between the two teams, when mistakes near the try line cost Bognor dearly, no such errors were made and Bognor scored to even up the points tally.
Bognor began rolling players on and off and the pitch but Worthing did the same and managed to push Bognor back to their own line.
This time it was Worthing’s turn to make the error and a dropped ball prevented them scoring for a second time. Bognor took the opportunity of the missed score as another spur and began to trundle back into the Worthing half.
Excellent pressure was exerted by the forwards and continuous sniping and recycling at the ruck soon allowed them to score for a second time and a famous victory was on the cards.
However, Worthing brought on their big guns, and the second half saw them batter Bognor into submission. Bognor had no answer as Worthing hit them with everything they had. Subsequently, Worthing took the lead with two unanswered tries.
But the old lags of Bognor are made of stern stuff and refused to lie down. Once again they came back. This time, it was Worthing’s turn to fall short under the immense skill and desire of Bognor’s aging onslaught and a try from Sargeant tied the scores.
Bognor sensed that the win was on but time was their enemy. All their efforts in the last few minutes were to no avail and the final whistle blew with honours even.
Bognor: Hay, Shipp, Page, Reed, Baker, Rimmer, Riley, Pigden, Brown D, Broome M, Parsons, Gordon, Brown P, Sargeant, Stock, Orange, Clarke, Mellor, Johnson, Broome G, Wilkinson, Russell.
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