SECOND-ROW Jamie Ure marked his first start at Roundstone Lane with a match-winning try, as Worthing Raiders Rugby Club snatched a tight victory over Redingensians Rams on Saturday.
Raiders nearly squandered a 14-6 half-time lead against their relegation zone opponents, conceding two tries when reduced to 14 men in the second half, but came back to earn their second win on the bounce.
The visitors claimed an early 3-0 lead, as a nervy start for Worthing saw the Rams’ Michael Chandler convert a penalty in the eighth minute.
A series of handling errors were followed by a spell of promising play from the home side, although two successive Worthing attacks, including a pacy breakaway from winger Alexander Wilcockson, were repelled.
Raiders’ efforts were soon rewarded, however, as the Rams were penalised for collapsing the scrum.
Worthing opted to kick for the line-out and prop Dan Sargent was able to score his sixth try of the season from the resulting catch-and-drive.
Matt McLean deftly converted the challenging kick from the edge of the pitch to put Raiders 7-3 ahead.
Worthing were penalised again for holding on in the edgy play which followed but fly-half Chandler failed to convert after the Rams chose to kick.
Liam Perkins then extended the lead for the home side. The number eight successfully peeled off from a five-yard scrum to secure Worthing’s second try after two previous efforts were held up.
McLean added the extras, before the visitors converted from a penalty at the half-time whistle to make the score 14-6.
Worthing looked in danger returning in the second half, as try-scorer Perkins was yellow-carded for interference with the scrum within three minutes, although Chandler was again unable to convert.
The Rams showed invention in the period that followed, Deiter Kershbaumer ultimately driving over for the visitors’ first try and Chandler converting.
Exploiting their one-man advantage further, Chandler added the extras to a try from prop James Baker in the 55th minute to give the Rams a 20-14 lead.
McLean reduced the deficit with a penalty in the 60th minute and Worthing soon threatened again, with substitutes Kiba Richards and Alex Nielsen demonstrating some crafty interplay on the left wing.
The cards were reversed when Rams’ scrum-half George Drury was sinbinned for not releasing, which gave Worthing the numbers advantage.
It was only a matter of time for the Raiders and second row Ure snatched the home side’s third try from a quickly taken penalty to give Worthing the lead, 22-20, with ten minutes left on the clock.
The home side continued to look dangerous as they sought a fourth try to give them the bonus point, but a dogged peformance from the Rams – down two men with an on-pitch injury to Kerschbaumer – held them.
Raiders’ victory made amends for a lacklustre performance in October, when they gifted the newly promoted Redingensians side their first win of the season – and also ensured head coach Kieron Dawson’s birthday celebrations were not soured.
Ninth-placed Worthing travel to Southend on Saturday.
RAIDERS: Storer, Luke, Sargent, Barlow, Ure, Smith, Whittall, Perkins; Leeming, Montgomery, Farnes, Greenwood, Loosmore, Wilcockson, McLean. Subs: Hewick, James, Margetson, Nielsen, Richards.
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