Raiders slip down the table after away loss

Matt McLean makes a dash forward in Raiders' game at Old Albanian Picture: Colin Coulson
Matt McLean makes a dash forward in Raiders' game at Old Albanian Picture: Colin Coulson
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Worthing Raiders Rugby Club dropped down to 13th in National 2 South, just one place above the relegation zone, following a 27-3 defeat at Old Albanian on Saturday.

After a third successive defeat, Worthing fell two places in the table and now head third-from-bottom Dorking by just four points with four games remaining.

Raiders gave a good account for much of the game against second-placed Old Albanian but the difference in league position was evident on the pitch when it came to scoring tries.

Raiders spent the first ten minutes camped in the Old Albanian half, pounding the opposition with attack after attack but they were unable to convert their territorial advantage into points.

It was Old Albanian who scored the first points of the game in the 12th minute after fly-half James Shanahan ran from his own half up to the Raiders ten metre line, before passing to Matthew Gallagher, who sprinted 40 metres to touch down.

Raiders had the opportunity to reply six minutes later when they were awarded a penalty but hit the post. Raiders continued to compete well and their pressure paid off when they were awarded a penalty in the 34th minute. Following a series of powerful drives on the opposition line for which Old Albanian prop Karl Garside received a yellow card, George Montgomery successfully kicked the penalty to make the score 5-3.

Raiders had the opportunity to capitalise from the man advantage for the final few minutes of the half but the script did not go quite to plan. They were caught off guard when the Old Albanian scrum-half took a quick penalty just inside the Raiders half and following two slick passes, James Spiers sprinted through to touch down and Matthew Gallagher converted.

Old Albanian then rubbed salt into the wound when they scored again just before half-time through Johannes Lombard to lead 17-3 at the break.

Worthing began the second half in spirited fashion and launched attacks on the Old Albanian line but were unable to convert the pressure into points, despite the hosts being down to 14 men again when Ross Hamilton was yellow carded.

Old Albanian touched down the four-try bonus point through Billy Johnson on 68 minutes and Spiers then went over for their fifth try just before the final whistle.

Raiders must now re-group and play to the best of their ability in the remaining four games to ensure their survival in National 2 South.

On Saturday, Worthing entertain Canterbury, who are two places and four points better off.

RAIDERS: Storer, Luke, Sargent, Arthur, Barlow, Smith, Hewick, Perkins; Peach, Leeming, Aspland-Robinson, Richards, Loosmore, McLean, Montgomery. Subs: Watson-Brooks, White, Gibson, Richardson, Farnes.

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