Raiders pushed all the way by basement boys Wimbledon

Matt McLean scored his fourth try in two matches for Worthing Raiders this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Matt McLean scored his fourth try in two matches for Worthing Raiders this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Goodger
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Worthing Raiders ended 2017 with a National 2 South victory this afternoon.

Two tries from Kiba Richards as well as single efforts from Matt McLean - his fourth in just two matches - Jonathan Whittall and replacement George Head sealed a 35-28 home triumph for Raiders over basement boys Wimbledon.

Worthing Raiders ended 2017 with victory after seeing off basement boys Wimbledon at Roundstone Lane. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing Raiders ended 2017 with victory after seeing off basement boys Wimbledon at Roundstone Lane. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing did not have it all their own way and were made to work hard by Wimbledon. Trailing 35-14 with 15 minutes to go, the travelling side scored two tries in eight minutes to set-up a thrilling finale.

Kemp Price was shown a yellow card less than a minute later, meaning Raiders had to see out the closing stages a man light.

A resolute rearguard from the home side ensured they held on for a fifth win in six matches and fifth in succession at Roundstone Lane.

After a slow start, tries from Richards and Whittall in the space of four minutes fired Raiders 14-0 in front before 25 minutes were up.

Wimbledon - fresh from their first win of the season the week previous - pulled a try back through Noah Cato five minutes later.

Raiders responded well and went over twice more in the final six minutes of the half through Richards - again - and replacement Head to wrap up a bonus-point.

Wimbledon were first to score after the restart - Oliver Smith bagging their second try - as they closed the gap to 28-14.

McLean's fourth try in just two matches should have ensured Raiders cantered to victory five minutes after the break.

Leading 35-14 with less than 15 minutes left, replacement Stephen May went over for Wimbledon.

Visiting skipper Dylan Flashman ensured his side would be going back with a bonus-point for their efforts, getting their fourth try five minutes later.

Wimbledon had the momentum and Raiders faced a struggle to see out the final six minutes when Price was shown a yellow card. Worthing managed to stand firm in the closing stages, holding on for victory to end 2017.

RAIDERS: Ajayi, Grief, Litterick, Spurgeon, Redmayne, Price, Whittall, Perkins; Walsh, McLean, Tomlinson, Forrest, Richards, Maslen, Coyle. Replacements: Luke, Head, Dingle, Dawe, Boyland.