Raiders pushed all the way by basement boys Wimbledon
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 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.