Peter Gavin previews Chinnor v Worthing Raiders


Chinnor RFC v Worthing Raiders

20th January 2018   k/o 3pm

This week Raiders head north to Oxfordshire to take on high-flying Chinnor at their base in Thame. This will be the 12th meeting between the clubs in National League rugby.

Background stuff

The club was formed in 1962, with first fixture taking place in March 1963 against Old Henleyensians, who now, of course, are Henley Hawks…a most appropriate, if unpronounceable fixture to start proceedings. Like most good clubs, Worthing included, life started in a farmer’s field (White’s), with local hostelries (Bird-in-Hand, Crown etc.) used for post-match discussions. In 1971 Towersey playing fields were used, with the clubhouse built by the members and volunteers. The club purchased their present 10 acre facility at Kingsey Road, Thame in 1987. When the leagues were formed Chinnor were placed in Bucks & Oxon Division 1, but promotions through various levels of the Southern Counties and South West regional leagues saw elevation to National League status in 2006. They lasted only one season, but reappeared in 2008 the year Worthing were promoted. Chinnor were relegated at the end of that season, but bounced back for season 2012/3.

They turn out 3 or 4 senior sides most Saturdays, with mini/Junior Rugby taking over on Sundays.

Club colours: black/white striped jerseys, black shorts & stockings.

The club emblem is a bird of prey.

Worthing v Chinnor matches over the years…

2008-9: C 20 – W 32…….W 47 – C 13.

Both these promoted teams struggled in a very competitive league (London Scottish, Rosslyn Park, Ealing and Richmond were the top 4!!). The above matches possibly being decisive in the quest to avoid the drop:-

W: 44 points (8W/1D- 10 bonus points)…..C: (Relegated) 40 points (7W/2D- 8 bonus points)

2012-13: C 36 – W 21….W 31 – C 15….W 2nd (Promoted) C 6th

2014-15: C 21 – W 26….W 36 – C 14….W 5th C 6th

2015-16: C 37 – W 8….W 23 – C 15….C 6th W 11th

2016-17: C 57 – W 10….W 14 – C 73….C 3rd W 12th  

2017-18: W 14 – C 45

30th September 2017 Raiders 14 Chinnor 45

Even though Chinnor had drawn their opening fixture at Clifton (24-24), Raiders knew they were in for a tough afternoon against an unbeaten Chinnor side who were firmly setting sights towards National 1. A tough time it proved to be, despite putting in a brave defensive shift and keeping going to the final whistle the visitors managed 7 tries to Raiders 2. The bonus point try on half time by South African full back Kieran Goss sent the teams to oranges 7-24. An early score for Raiders was vital, but instead ex Northampton Academy centre, Jamel Hamilton, crossed for the visitors. With the extras added by experienced New Zealander Johnny Bentley, the game was more or less put to bed. It certainly was when Bentley himself crossed in the 62nd minute. Credit to Raiders who kept battling in the hope of breaching the tight defence which eventually was achieved in the 70th minute (Kiba Richards), but there was to be no bonus point for Raiders in this fixture. A converted try (Lamont) at the end of the game made the score-line slightly unflattering for the effort put in by the home side.

Raiders: Leeming, Maslen, Richards, Forrest, Hampson, McLean, Walsh, Ajayi, Harris, Litterick, Lee, Lake, Redmayne, Price, Perkins.

Bench: Gearing-Grief, Head, Whittall, Miller, Boyland.

Chinnor: Goss, Heath, Hamilton, Dancer, Chesters, Bentley, Goodfellow, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Gilding, Green, Manning, Bordill, Oliver, Ramshaw.

Bench: Birch, Thorpe, Nawaqaliva, Lamont.   

Chinnor last season     W24/ D2/ L4 / Points Difference +565 / League Points 122

In most years a record like this could gain promotion or at the very least a play-off spot, but not last season. Chinnor finished up joint second, equal on league points with Old Elthamians. Despite having a better ‘points differential’ the league is first determined on games won and OEs had won 25. Thereby they gained the right to play (and beat) Sale in the ‘play-off’. Cruel on Chinnor!! They were at or near the top of the league all season, although they may look back at the fixtures around the turn of the year: Taunton (13-13), Henley (29-29) and Redruth (29-12): as the blip. Canterbury (16-12) and Clifton (31-17) were other defeats that stick out. Kieran Goss (full-back) featured in all the matches with Henry Lamont (wing) and Tom Price (prop) involved in 28. They used 44 different players to fulfil the fixtures.

The season so far…P18/W16/D1 …2nd spot…81 points…Cinderford 1st….85 points… (Raiders 7th….52 points).

After defeating Cinderford in the ‘Forest’ (20-31) in game 6 and with Titans losing to both Hawks (31-42) and Wild Geese (45-38), most pundits thought the league was all but sewn up, especially after Chinnor beat Titans (13-7) in early December. There was however the little matter of Cinderford jogging nicely along registering 5 points every match. At the Christmas break Chinnor headed the league with 76 points from Cinderford lurking in 2nd spot with 75. The first fixture in the New Year brought Wild Geese to Thame, where Chinnor have been unbeaten for 18 months or more…result Chinnor 20 LIWG 35!!! No one can quite explain this fantastic achievement, other than on the day Wild Geese were the better side and thoroughly deserved the spoils (0 points – 5). Last week Chinnor had to visit in form Redingensians Rams…they prevailed (29-31) and there is now someday light to Rams in 3rd spot in the league on 69 points.

The players

As usual a list of the players used in recent matches is provided along with a brief resume as to their credentials. Since the home leg, regular scrum half Greg Goodfellow has been laid up through injury, with Michael McDonald taking over the berth at 9 most weeks. It was reported that McDonald left the field shortly after half time last Saturday through injury. In addition, influential lock forward Joe Green is laid up through an injury sustained in the match against Canterbury shortly before the Christmas break. In his absence the services of Coventry forward Tom Jubb have been acquired. It is heartening to see fly-half Bertie Hopkin returning to the side after almost a year on the side-lines. In the three quarters Kieran Goss (10 tries) and Captain Danny Barnes have both made 17 starts. Henry Lamont is the leading try scorer with 11 (16 appearances, 9 off the bench). In the forwards Ben Manning has also made 17 appearances. Chinnor have utilised 46 different players to fulfil the fixtures so far.

Clearly another formidable challenge awaits….please try to make the journey up to Oxfordshire to add touchline support for the boys, it’s really appreciated………you never know!




Name (Age) *played 30th Sept Apps 2017-8 Total apps Join Points Honours Position/Prev Club/s Apps               *played v Raiders
Kieran Goss* (26) 17 56 2015 10T SA  Academy Full Back: Natal Sharks Academy, Eastern Province U21, Cornish Pirates 40.
Connor Hayhow 2 2 2017 Berkshire, England Counties U18 Wing: Bracknell, Henley Hawks 15, London Scottish 2.
Nana Asiedu 1 1 2017 England Counties U20 Wing: Canterbury* 38, Coventry 2, Leicester Lions 1.
Jamel Hamilton* (19) 10/4R 14 2017 5T   Wing: Northampton Academy, Leicester Lions
Phil Chesters*(29) 12 12 2017 8T England  Counties     (234 tries in NL) Wing: Westcombe Park 10, Ealing* 186, Old Elthamians1
Henry Lamont* (24) 7/9R 56 2016 11T 4 Blues 2012-5 (Capt) Wing: Cranleigh School, Guildford, Rosslyn Park, Oxford University
Danny Barnes (28) 17 43 2016 1T Ireland U20 Centre: Munster 50, Falcons18, Tynedale, Ealing 17
Ratu Nawaqaliva* 10/3R 13 2017 6T Fiji U20 Centre: Sale Academy, Nottingham, Ampthill 7
Alex Dancer* (27) 12/1R 16 2017 1T England Students Centre: Dings Crusaders*60, Hartpury*21, Pirates 52, Taunton4.
Johnny Bentley* (31) 14/1R 23 2017 5T/39C/1P   Fly Half: Pirates 62, Yorkshire Carnegie 8, Jersey 23, Wellington NZ 12, Ealing 7.
Jonathon ‘Bertie’ Hopkin (24) 3/2R 29 2015 1T/8C/ 1P England Counties U20 Fly Half: Guildford, Redruth, Cornish Pirates, N Canterbury U20 (NZ)
Michael McDonald (22) 8 8 2017 5T Saracens Singha 7s Scrum Half: London Scottish Academy, Chobham, Dorking, Amersham
Greg Goodfellow* (32) 7/1R 63 2015 1T/7C Cornwall Scrum Half: Mount’s Bay24,Coventry1 Redruth*102, Pirates 1.
Alex Gliksten (20) 3/4R 7 2017 1T   Scrum Half: Saracens, Old Albanians 26
Tom Price* (24) 5/8R 41 2016 2T   LH Prop: Bishop Burton College, Hull RFC
Nick Bingham (28) 6/5R 11 2017 1T   LH Prop: Sheffield Tigers12, Broadstreet 10, B & Solihull 61, Bury St Edmunds*33
Ricky Cano (25) 1/1R 50 2014 2016 2018   LH Prop: Hartpury*38, Wharfedale 21, Hull Ionians 3, Rotherham Titans 3, Clifton*14.
Jack Gilding* (29) 10/3R 13 2017 2T   TH Prop: Worcester 8, Stourbridge 8, Moseley 3, Edinburgh 27, Ayr 1, Viadana, London Welsh 41.
Rory Mason 9/6R 15 2017 1T Scotland U18 England Students & Counties U20 TH Prop: Leeds Beckett
Joe Hutchinson* (32) 9 19 2017 Spain (15caps) Hooker/TH Prop: Sheffield 6, La Vila Spain 5, Macclesfield, Rotherham Titans5.
Henry Birch 2/1R 3 2017   Hooker: Oxford Brookes, Cinderford
Joe Green *(30) 10/2R 12 2017   Lock: Nottingham 17
Jack Ramshaw* (24) 13 13 2017 2T   Lock: Yorkshire Carnegie  11, Wharfedale 2, Rotherham Titans 2, Hull Ionians 1
Tom Ranoboldo 1/2R 3 2017 T1   Lock: Broughton Park, Salisbury
Tom Jubb (24) 2 2 2017 England U20 Lock: Saracens 8, Old Albanian 13, Cambridge 7, Bedford 10, Plymouth Alb19, Darlington MP 12, Coventry 23, Leicester Lions 1.
Ben Manning* (26) 13/4R 92 2014 5T Scotland Students 7s BS Wing Forward/Lock: Edinburgh University, Henley, Stewarts Melville, Linwood NZ.
Will Bordill* (24) 15 15 2017 2T Scotland U20 Scotland Clubs OS Wing Forward: Sale Sharks 2, Preston Grasshoppers22, Macclesfield 7, Glasgow 7, Stirling 6, Ayr.
George Oliver* (24) 11/6R 17 2017 7T   Hooker/BS Wing Forward: Tigers 2, Titans 8, Coventry 43, Hull Ionians 6
Alex Bradley (24) 13/2R 29 2016 2T England U16 Back Row: Ealing Trailfinders 36
Alex Waddingham* 27 2/7R 47 2012 1T England Students  Cheshire   Durham Back Row: Sale, Loughborough Students 27, Durham University, Oxford University Blue 2012.
Willie Ryan


3 3 2017 1T   No 8:University College Cork, Cork Constitution, Rotherham Titans 30, Hull Ionians 1, Ealing T 17