Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Clifton


Worthing Raiders v Clifton RFC

12th January 2019 Kick-off   2pm

Clifton RFC are our visitors this week, travelling from their Bristol base at the end of Cribbs Causeway. Clifton are no strangers to Roundstone Lane as they will be making their 9th visit for this National 2 (S) League fixture. Raiders visited Clifton last September (match 4), returning pointless (37-15).

Clifton history.

Clifton RFC was founded in 1872 and is the 22nd oldest club in England. The founding meeting took place at ‘The Kings Arms’ on Blackboys Hill in Clifton. The pub is still there although it has been rebuilt and changed name a few times. It is now The Kings Arms again! The club has played at a number of different locations throughout North Bristol, but never apparently in Clifton itself. Since 1976 the club has been based at the southerly end of Cribbs Causeway.

This historic club has a considerable number of ex-international players who have donned Clifton colours, especially in the earlier days, there is a website specifically devoted to the subject (cliftonrfchistory).

The club has links with Bristol Bears and their Academy.

The club turns out 2 or 3 Senior XVs on Saturdays, Junior/Mini Rugby taking over on Sundays.

In 2009 Clifton Ladies RFC became affiliated to Bristol Rugby.

Club Colours: Lavender/Black Jerseys, black stockings/shorts

Club Motto: Dum Ludimus Ludamus…’While we play let us play’

Worthing v Clifton over the years… (series Raiders 9 Clifton 8)

Clifton were promoted to level 4 after season 2005-6 having defeated favourites Richmond at the Athletic Ground 3-12 (3 drop goals from John Barnes) in a play-off match. They lasted a couple of seasons at that level, before reappearing after Season 2008-9 as South West 1 Champions.

The results (and final league positions) in the series between the clubs are:-

2009-10 C 55 – W 18 W 20 – C 27 W 6th C 5th
2010-11 C 10 – W 9 W 37 – C 30 W 8th C 9th
2011-12 C 8 – W 28 W 54 – C 10 W 3rd C 9th
2012-13 C 21 – W 38 W 58 – C 3 W 2nd C 12th
2013-14  No fixture Raiders promoted to level 3
2014-15 C 34 – W 40 W 24 – C 17 W 5th C 13th
2015-16 C 31 – W 18 W 34 – C 33 W 11th C 12th
2016-17 C 33 – W 17 W 11 – C 15 W 12th  C 10th
2017-18 C 34 – W 36 W 24 – C 36 W 7th   C 11th
2018-19 C 37 – W 15

22nd September 2018 Clifton 37 Raiders 15

Raiders and their supporters travelled to Bristol buoyed by the scintillating victory the previous Saturday against Redruth. The perfect Clifton pitch looked just the ticket for another 10 try display…..Back to earth with a bump, as prop forward Alex Giltrow crossed inside the first minute! It was one of those days when there were glimpses of what might have been, but in the event the home side held the aces, frustration set in and yellow cards followed. Off the bench, Alfie To’oala, the villain last season after a red card, turned to hero as he engineered a couple of tries off the back of rolling mauls to get a five-pointer for the home side. Curtis Barnes added a consolation try for the visitors at the death.

Clifton: Leversley, Lambert, Halpin, Campbell, Pomphrey, Barnes, Openshaw, Simpson, Wheeler, Giltrow, Harper, Dave Hill, Chesters, Rovery, Dan Hill.

Bench: Booley, Taylor, To’oala, Harrison, Spencer M.

Scorers:T:Giltrow (1m), Harper (21m), To’oala x2 (53/63m) P:Barnesx2 (40/77m) C:Barnesx4.

Raiders: Maslen, Boyland, Richards, Forrest J, Barnes, McLean, Walsh, Birch, Grief, Gatford, Dingle, Lake, Whittall, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Luke, Adams, Spurgeon, Harris, Sims.

Scorers:T:Dawe (25m), Barnes (79m) P:McLean (12m) C: McLean (25m)

Last season P30 /W11 /D1    11th 63 points….. ‘Top of the bottom’

Not for the first time over recent seasons Clifton flirted with the drop zone, but at the end of the day they had enough in the tank to survive. They put in a terrific 5 match unbeaten run to save themselves ahead of their difficult finish against promoted Cinderford and play-off winners Chinnor. The unbeaten run included ourselves and Bury St Edmunds as well as Canterbury (17-24), Henley (29-22) and LIWG (17-29).

Brad Barnes was top points scorer on 145, with Callum Roberts, who featured in all 30 fixtures, top try scorer with 20.

This season so far……P17 /W6 11th 37 points (Raiders 8th 43 points)

Clifton have acquired 13 BPs so far (5 losing, 8 for tries) which keeps them sitting pretty in the mid-table bunch. The losing point at Rams (26-19) stands out as that is the only point they have conceded on home turf so far. They also gave high-flying Canterbury a bit of a scare before losing (40-34). Last week they entertained Taunton Titans and despite losing (42-48) the 13 try encounter was very much in the balance after a strong second half display by the home side. Brad Barnes once again leads the points scoring with 97 points, Will Pomphrey heads the try scorers with 10 (after a hat-trick last week). In the forwards, Chris Rovery leads the way with 6.

Matt Salter, Head Coach for a number of years, has taken over as Director of Rugby. He is a Bristol rugby legend having played more than 170 matches for the club as well as Captain 2004/8. He also played for Clifton 50+ times including a couple of times against Raiders the last outing in April 2012.

The players

A list of the players used in the last match against Titans is provided along with details on a few more players who have been used in recent fixtures.

In the backs Messrs Campbell, Harrison, Barnes and Spencer have all made 15 or more appearances. Sam Goatley (centre) has recently arrived having played against Raiders for Bury St Edmunds and Cinderford. He played against us at Canterbury earlier this season. He is a regular in the Gloucestershire side and scored 7 tries in last season’s campaign. In the forwards, Henry Harper and David Hill have been in the boiler house virtually every week, with the back row of Andrew Chesters, Chris Rovery and Dan Hill regular choices.


This match, as usual, looks to bear all the necessary ingredients to provide us, the spectators, with another dramatic encounter. The series between the clubs is tightly balanced and all the players will be wanting to play open, flowing rugby, it is an occasion not to be missed…


Get along to Roundstone Lane in plenty of time to add your touchline support, the players really appreciate the 16th man!!!


………..C’Mon Raiders.

Name/age *played v Raiders 22/9/18 Apps 2018-9 Tot app Join Points Honours Position/ Previous Clubs                                            *Played v Raiders
Played v Titans           5th January 2019 LOST 42-48
Tom Francis 7/5R 13 2016 3C/1P Full Back: Bristol U18, Hartpury, Boyne (Ire)
Hugh Campbell* 13/2R 15 2018 3T Wing:
Sam Goatley (28) 6 6 2018 3T Gloucester- shire Centre: Bury St Edmunds 17*, Cinderford* 26, Canterbury* 4
Sam Harrison* (27) 9/7R 154 2011 1T Somerset Centre: UWE
Will Pomphrey* (31) 9 172 2009 10T Wing: Stalwart
Brad Barnes* (26) 15 139 2012 2015 32C/ 10P Somerset Fly Half: Avon, Bath Academy, Oldfield, Lydney*28
Mitchell Spencer* Capt. (25) 15/1R 82 2014 5T Somerset Scrum Half: Dings* 12, Hartpury 15
Ricky Cano (26) 6/2R 22 2017 LH Prop: Hartpury*38, Chinnor*66, Wharfedale 21, Hull Ionians 3, Rotherham Titans 3.
Jack Williams 6 71 2015 Somerset Hooker: Cinderford*5, Clevedon
Mark Roberts 7/4R 11 2018 1T TH Prop:
Henry Harper* (23) 15 46 2016 3T Somerset Lock: Hartpury 2.
David Hill* 17 39 2017 2T Lock: Bristol United
Andrew Chesters* (25) 8/1R 59 2016 BS Wing Forward: Hartpury 12, Launceston* 20, Plymouth Albion 17
Chris Rovery* 16/1R 35 2017 6T Gloucester-shire OS Wing Forward: Thornbury, Lydney* 18, Cinderford 5
Dan Hill* 15/1R 16 2018 No 8: Guernsey
Jack Spencer (22) 0/1R 1 2019 England U18 Prop: Gloucester Academy, Hartpury 2, Stourbridge 47
Dave Wheeler*(32) 11/2R 64 2015 Somerset Hooker: Dings* 202, Cinderford 8
Niall Gibbons (23) 0/1R 1 2019 Gloucester-shire U20 OS Wing Forward: Gloucester Academy, Hartpury, Stourbridge 39
Aiden Ali (18) 5/2R 2018 Bristol U17 OS Wing Forward: Cheltenham College, Independent Schools RFC,
Ross Pritchard (27) 0/4R 2018 Scrum Half: Llanharan Youth, Tata Steel, Cross Keys, Cardiff
PLAYED RECENTLY         Last Played  
Bentley Halpin*(22) 14/2R 35 2017 6T 22nd Dec Wing: Christ’s Brecon, Cardiff University, Bahrain Rugby.
Max Folkard 1/3R 4 2018 22nd Dec LH Prop: University of Gloucester, Old Patesians
Alex Lambert* 14/1R 35 2017 3T 22nd Dec Wing: Devonport Services,
Chris Levesley* (24) 12 35 2017 4T 22nd Dec GB 7s Students Centre: Jersey 15, Dragons, Ebbw Vale, Cardiff Met, Queensland Reds.
Beno Edwards 4/7R 33 2017 22nd Dec Hooker: Cardiff University
Callum Simpson* (24) 4/4R 25 2017 15th Dec LH Prop: University of Edinburgh, Hawick Albion
Meredith Lloyd 1/4R 5 2018 2T 8th Dec Wing:
Cameron Terry 1/1R 2 2018 8th Dec No8: Gloucester
Elliot Booley* (30) 7/1R 64 2011 2016   3rd Nov TH Prop: Loughborough S 35, Richmond 9, Cinderford* 67
Alex Giltrow *(27) 6 69 2015 1T 13th Oct   England  Students Somerset TH Prop: UWE, Clevedon, Bristol 6
Alfie To’Aola Vaeluaga* (37) 1/1R 45 2015 3T 13th Oct Samoa (6) No8: Rotherham Titans 74, Orrell 25, Plymouth 49, Bristol 65, York C 42, L. Welsh 14, Chinnor 26.