Match report by Steve Hill
Worthing travelled to high flying Stortford with the bonus of the return of skipper Liam Perkins in the starting fifteen and Sam Hewick & Harry Forrest on the bench.
Kiba Richards was a late withdrawal through illness but the rest of the backs were first choices, although Matt McLean moved up to stand-off from his normal full back slot.
From the kick-off the home side enjoyed the majority of possession but Raiders tackled well preventing an early score. The Raiders’ scrum was under pressure from the start. With Hadfield and Perkins taking the ball up.
After five minutes the home side dropped the ball near the Worthing line, from the scrum Worthing were awarded a penalty on their own five yard line.
Play was rather scrappy early on with Raiders tackling hard to keep the home side out, following a penalty kicked to the Raiders’ 22 the home side were then awarded a scrum ten yards out, keeping the ball in the scrum they pushed Worthing’s pack over for the first score of the day, the Stortford kicker missed the kick so it was 5 – 0 to Stortford after fourteen minutes.
The match was very much one-way traffic, however the Worthing backs turned the ball over and made progress up the right with some good handling before the ball was knocked on around the halfway line.
Stortford, needing a full five point win, spurned a number of kicks at goal preferring to go to the corner instead. Eventually, they added a second try following a number of last-ditch tackles by the Raiders. This was converted leaving the score at 12 – 0 after around twenty seven minutes.
A series of scrums near to the Worthing line resulted in the home sides third try wide out on the left, the home scrum half added the extras, Stortford 19 Worthing 0 after thirty five minutes.
Stortford secured the bonus point try despite a suspicion of a knock-on, the extras were added and it was Stortford 26 Worthing 0 at half-time.
Early in the second half the home side added a fifth try in the corner, again the home kicker added the extras with a superb kick, 33 – 0 to Stortford after forty three minutes.
Following an unforced error by the home full back, Raiders mounted a concerted attack with Perkins, Hadfield, and Nielsen prominent. The ball was spun from side to side culminating in Finlay Coxon-Smith going over from close range in the corner, McLean added the extras with a fine kick from the touchline – Stortford 33 Worthing 7 after fifty minutes.
Stung by this affront, the home side mounted a concerted attack which resulted in a converted try Stortford 40 Worthing 7 after fifty five minutes.
Stortford added another converted try a few minutes later with Raiders down to 14 following a yellow card for Lamb. Stortford 47 Worthing 7 after sixty minutes.
A series of penalties, kicked to touch resulted in Stortford scoring their eighth try of the day which went unconverted to leave the score at Stortford 52 Worthing 7 after sixty eight minutes.
A good tackle by Irving saved a further home score, the ball was spread out to Harry Forrest, on the right wing, who outstripped the home defence and ran in under the posts for a length of the field try. Matt McLean wasted no time drop-kicking the conversion – Stortford 52 Worthing 14 after seventy four minutes.
The game ended with Worthing on the attack but the home side kept them out to record a good victory.
As expected, this was a tough afternoon for the Raiders, however they can take heart from the fact they never stopped trying throughout the match.
Worthing now face three home matches in consecutive weeks the results of which may go a long way to defining the season, starting with Barnstaple this coming Saturday 2pm kick-off. Get down to Roundstone Park and give the boys your support.
- Ryan Storer
2 Will Grief
3 Grant Gatford
4 Dino Lamb
5 Jack Lake
6 James Hadfield
7 Jon Whittall
8 Liam Perkins
9 Sam Boyland
10 Matt McLean
11 Kariym Irving
12 Ben Loosmore
13 Finlay Coxon-Smith
14 Alex Wilcockson
15 Alex Nielsen
Matt Finney, George Harris, Sam Hewick, Kieran Leeming, Harry Forrest