Peter Gavin previews Bishop’s Stortford v Worthing Raiders

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11th February 2017 kick off 2pm

Raiders pay their third visit to Silver Leys for a N2(S) league fixture. Bishop’s Stortford visited Worthing last October and emerged victorious 30-36.

Background stuff

Bishop’s Stortford RFC was founded in 1920 (the same year as ourselves!) and started life at a ground in Dunmow Road. They moved 8 years later to their existing base, Silver Leys. The clubhouse was renovated and re-opened in 1985.

When the league system was introduced in 1987 Bishop’s Stortford RFC was placed in third London tier. Promotion to London 2 North (level 6) followed the next season. It then took until 2003 to win promotion to London Division 1.

Promotion to National League 2 South was secured in April 2013.

Bishop’s Stortford is a community rugby club featuring 4 or 5 Senior Men’s teams with Junior rugby from Minis to Colts. There is also a Girls section.

All sections of the club are flourishing, with the Colts team performing especially well over the last few seasons.

Season 2014-15 brought the accolade of RFU ‘Club of the Year’.

Club colours: Blue shirts with a white band, white Shorts, blue/white striped stockings.

Hertfordshire, County Champions in 2012, is a strong top tier rugby county.

Worthing v Bishop’s Stortford over the years

Both teams were in London Division 1(level 5) by season 2003/4, with Worthing being promoted to National 2 South after season 2007/8. Bishop’s Stortford joined that league for the 2013-4 season, the season Raiders spent at level 3.

2014-15     W 24 BS 22     BS 29 W 10

2015-16     BS 25 W 10     W 29 BS 15

2016-17     W 30 BS 36

22ndOctober 2016 Worthing Raiders 30 Bishop’s Stortford 36

Raiders got off to a flying start with Alex Nielsen touching down for the first score with less than 5 minutes on the clock. The home side were then subjected to 3 quick-fire tries from the visitors. (Simmonds 2 and Cullen, 1 Converted by Banks) These scores accrued whilst Raiders were reduced to 14 players. Matt McLean landed a penalty just before the break (8 -17). Once again Raiders opened the scoring early in the second period with Nielsen getting his second with Matt adding the extras along with a penalty, to take the match into the final quarter, Raiders ahead 18 -17. Once again Bishop’s Stortford forged ahead with a second try from Simmonds converted by Banks along with a couple of penalties moving the visitors into a 18-30 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining….Kiba Richards barged over for a great try converted by Matt, but that man Tom Banks kept nudging the score-line along with well taken penalty goals, 25-36 with 5 minutes to play. Dan Sargent added Raider’s bonus point try, with a couple of minutes left. Despite great encouragement from the 625 crowd, no further scoring prevailed….. (Match points 2-5)

Raiders: McLean, Squire, Wilcockson, Richards, Nielsen, Leeming, Peach, Storer, Harris, Sargent, Barlow, Redmayne, White, Smith, Perkins.

Bench: Watson-Brooks, Gatford, Whittall, Loosmore, Montgomery.

Stortford: Simmonds, Hankin, Neville, Cullen, Rea, Coleman T, Banks T, Young, Caulfield, Edwards, Tomlinson, McCraith, Turner, Elsom, Ball .

Bench: McCrone, Brown, Michell, Abraham, Hutler.

Bishop’s Stortford last season…

Stortford put in another great display to finish in 3rd spot (2nd last season). They registered 22 wins and a draw from the 30 fixtures.  They did the double over top side Cambridge (12-29, 18-10). Their home record was solid only one reversal against Taunton (22-26). Nick Hankin topped the try scorers with 20.  Prop forward Tom McCrone and try scorer Hankin featured in all the matches.

So far this season….P20 W16

Stortford are riding high in 2nd spot with 83 points. They are level on points with Chinnor, but have a game in hand. (Their recent home fixture with Canterbury was frosted off). They are very much focusing on the automatic promotion spot this time. Of their defeats two have been at Silver Leys, Old Elthamians (19-22) and Cinderford (29-30), on the road the reversals have been at Canterbury (38-34) and Redruth (24-13). The win against Chinnor (30-22) stands out, as does the victory at Old Elthamians (14-16), although OE’s will reflect on playing with 14 men for most of the match.

The players…

As usual the players used in the last couple of fixtures are listed below along with a little more detail as to their credentials. In the three-quarters, centre Nick Hankin   and scrum half Tom Banks have started in every fixture. Whilst in the forwards hooker Dec Caulfield has been ever present along with back- rowers Steve Ball and Australian Dan Elsom who have only missed a couple between them. Winger Will Simmonds leads the try scorers with 11. Scrum-half Banks is leading points scorer with 203 including 8 tries. (He is 2nd in the league 11pts behind Taunton’s Gary Kingdom.). As a team they have scored over 90 tries so far this season a few behind Chinnor.  There is quite a strong representation in the squad from the successful Youth section………

Name (Age) *played 22nd Oct Apps 2016-17 N2 apps Join Pts Honours Position/Previous Club/s Apps                *played v Raiders
Pier Dotta (27) 6/7R 45 2015 2T2C Italy U18 Full Back: Rugby San Dona Venice
Will Simmonds* (22) 16/1R 17 2016 11T Eng U16-18 Full Back/Centre: Manchester University
Nick Hankin*(25) 20 108 2013 9T Hertfordshire Saracens 7s Full Back/Wing: Chelmsford,
Jimmy Rea* (30) 17/1R 54 2008 9T   Wing: Widden Old Boys
Matt Williams (18) 2 2 2017   Wing: Wellington Coll, London Irish
Ryan Hutler* (18) 7/5R 12 2016 6T MidlandsU20 Wing: Wisbech, Bedford Academy
Sam Winter(27) 12 90 2012 6T Hertfordshire Eng Co Full Back/Centre: BS Youth
Jack Scantlebury (23) 3/1R 13 2014 Hertfordshire U20 Centre: BS Youth
Tom Coleman* (30, Capt) 18 84 2003 Hertfordshire Fly Half: Stalwart
Tom Banks* (23) 20 76 2011 8T53C19P Eng Co      Eng Students Scrum Half: BS Youth, Newcastle University
Sam Coleman 26 0/5R 33 2009 1C   Scrum Half: BS Youth
Rory Young*(23) 12/1R 75 2013 Hertfordshire LH Prop: BS Youth
Sean Edwards* (27) 9/5R 88 2012 5T Hertfordshire  England Counties TH Prop: St Albans, Wimborne, Bournemouth
Tom McCrone* (23) 12/4R 82 2013 Hertfordshire U20 Prop: BS Youth, Northumbria University
Seb Brownhill (19) 4/10R 14 2016 3T Hertfordshire U20 TH Prop/Lock: BS Youth
Will Roberts (23) 3/1R 42 2013 2017 1T Hertfordshire Eng Co U20 LH Prop: Loughborough Students 20 Blackheath
Dec Caulfield*(25) 18/2R 71 2013 6T   Prop/Hooker: BS Youth
Steve Ball* (27) 18/1R 111 2012 4T Hertfordshire Hooker/Wing Forward: Blackheath, RL Broncos
James Apperley (21) 5/1R 16 2015 Hertfordshire U20            Eng Co U20 Lock: BS Youth
Matt Tomlinson* (28) 17 81 2011 6T   Lock: BS Youth
Jon George (26) 8 62 2012   Lock: Glamorgan Wanderers, Loughborough Students
Dan Elsom* (22) 18 18 2016 2T   OS Wing Forward: Eastern Suburbs Australia
Rory Banks (22) 5/8R 19 2016 2T   BS Wing Forward: BS Youth
Hugh Michell* (32) 4/5R 50 2013 1T   Wing Forward:
Chris Aldam (29) 4/2R 31 2008 1T   Lock/Wing Forward: Guildford
Jacob Turner* (18) 4/8R 12 2016     BS Wing Forward: Banbury,  Henley College, Wasps Academy, Bedford Academy
Mark McCraith* (31) 18 97 2003 2T Hertfordshire Barbarians Eng Counties No8: Old Modernians, Bedford

Another tough fixture awaits…….

C’mon Raiders!!!