Raiders hold on to win in gripping finish

Worthing Raiders' Matt McLean
Worthing Raiders' Matt McLean

REJUVENATED Worthing Raiders Rugby Club recorded a second successive win, away to Chinnor, in National 2 South, on Saturday.

The game was a tale of four quarters as Raiders dominated the opening 20 minutes. After a period of successive attacks, they were awarded a penalty after seven minutes but Matt McLean’s kick was unsuccessful.

After 12 minutes, Chinnor made a rare incursion into the Raiders half and were rewarded with a penalty when Raiders failed to release in the tackle. However, Reece Boughton’s kick was also unsuccessful.

On 16 minutes, Raiders were awarded a penalty on halfway and kicked for the corner. They won their line-out and the forwards drove for the line, before Jamie Redmayne broke away to score, with McLean adding the extras.

McLean kicked a penalty just wide on 24 minutes, before Worthing touched down their second try four minutes later. From a line-out, the ball was taken cleanly by Liam Perkins and delivered to Calum Waters, who sprinted 20 metres to touch down, with McLean converting.

Chinnor put Raiders under pressure as the half drew to a close and Reuben Haile went over in the corner, with Boughton converting.

Chinnor missed a penalty a minute into the second half but, straight from the kick-off, the ball was gathered by Haile who ran at Raiders, chipped the ball over the back line, collected the ball and sprinted to the line to score.

The conversion by Boughton made the score 14-14.

Raiders had Jon Whittall sinbinned for a deliberate knock-on on 54 minutes and Chinnor were awarded a scrum close to the line.

After a couple of drives, Chinnor passed the ball wide and Haile went over to score his third try and Boughton successfully converted.

Worthing levelled just four minutes later when, from a line-out, Rob Smith broke away to score and McLean converted.

Raiders then started to turn the tide. The next few minutes saw both sides make purposeful attacks on each other and on 68 minutes a Chinnor try was disallowed for crossing.

A minute later, Raiders won a line-out and the ball was driven just short of their halfway line where it was passed to Craig Holland, who sprinted up the pitch to score an excellent solo try in the corner to make the score 26-21.

The final ten minutes was not for the faint-hearted. Chinnor increasingly attacked the Raiders line with determination but were thwarted by some excellent Raiders’ defence.

With four minutes left, Chinnor were awarded a penalty and kicked for the corner. Raiders defended brilliantly, before Dan Sargent was yellow-carded for hands in the ruck.

Chinnor opted for a scrum, which Raiders defended valiantly, before another penalty was awarded with 80 minutes up. Chinnor chose to scrum again and this time the ball came out and was passed between forwards and backs in pursuit of the Raiders’ line.

A ruck was formed three meters from the try line but Chinnor were penalised and the final whistle blew.

RAIDERS: Storer, Piper, Sargent, Gaynor, Redmayne, Smith, Whittall, Perkins; Waters, Leeming, Nielsen, Dudley, Coxon-Smith, Forrest, McLean. Subs: Bartlett, Hewick, Heaver, Sewell, Holland.