Peter Gavin previews Clifton v Worthing Raiders

Clifton RFC v Worthing Raiders

25th November 2017

Kick-off   2.30pm

After a week-end without a fixture Raiders travel to Bristol to take on old rivals Clifton at their extensive facility at the ‘Southerly’ end of Cribbs Causeway. This will be the 15th National League fixture between the clubs.

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 strong links with Bristol and their Academy.

It 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

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   season’s finish 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 – W38    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

Danny Wells (centre) has made 16 appearances against Raiders, although 10 were for Henley Hawks. Sam Harrison and Will Pomphrey have both featured in the three-quarters on 8 occasions. Matt McLean (Full Back/Fly-half) leads the way for Raiders with 11 appearances and 125 points (6T/28C/13P). Jamie Redmayne has made 10 appearances usually in the back-row, with Kieran Leeming putting in 8 in the three-quarters.

15th October 2016 Clifton 33 Raiders 17…a card fest

Raiders got off to a difficult start losing influential lock forward Charlie McGowan to a nasty leg injury in the first couple of minutes, but an early try from Alex Nielsen, converted by McLean, lifted the spirits. The first half was relatively even, prop forward Giltrow pulling back a try for the home side at the mid-way point of the half. Brad Barnes landing 3 penalties and a conversion with a further penalty from McLean saw a score-line 16-10 at the break. Clifton had much the better of the second period with tries from speedy backs Ian Clark and James Newey (an interception). The un-erring boot of Brad Barnes saw the board at 33-10 after 55 minutes, although a try and conversion from McLean late in the contest, added a little respectability to the score line. Referee Louis Caviglia had a busy time with yellow cards which Raiders won 3-2.

Clifton: Clark, Newey, Harrison, Wells, Pomphrey, Barnes, Spencer, Booley, Wheeler, Giltrow, Hawkins, Cannock, Bayliss, Luxton, To’oala.

Bench: Bullimore, Williams, Woodward, Chesters, Watters.

Raiders: McLean, Coxon-Smith, Wilcockson, Richards, Nielsen, Leeming, Peach, Storer, Hadfield, Sargent, Barlow, McGowan, White P, Smith, Perkins.

Bench: Harris, Burns, Lake, Loosmore, Montgomery.

4th February 2017 Raiders 11 Clifton 15

The Raiders faithful may have fancied a much needed win against our west country rivals, especially as Clifton were forced into a couple of last minute changes to their line-up. Raiders were in the relegation zone with 28 points from 19 matches, whilst Clifton were sitting pretty in 9th spot, 47points, although they had played one more match. The home side made a promising start, popular prop Grant Gatford getting over with barely 5 minutes played.  Speedy winger Finlay Sharp leveled matters after a quarter of an hour, the ever reliable boot of Brad Barnes converting, to give the visitors the lead 5-7. Matt McLean nudged Raiders into a lead just before oranges with a well taken penalty, 8-7. In a very tight contest, McLean and Barnes exchanged penalties to take the match into the last 10 minutes, the home side still clinging on by a point! Alas, the dreaded yellow card. Despite Raiders best efforts with a man down, the visitors through Chris Rovery, managed a try in the dying minutes to grab the win and the ‘double’ for the season.

Raiders: McLean, Irving, Coxon-Smith, Richards, Nielsen, Montgomery, Boyland, Storer, Harris, Gatford, Barlow, Lake, Hadfield, Whittall, Lamb-Cona,

Bench: Gearing-Grief, Sargent, Hewick, Leeming, Loosmore.

Clifton: Clark, Caven, Peacock, Wells, Sharp, Barnes, Thomas, Wrafter, Edwards, Bullimore, Uren, Bartlett, Rovery, Woodward, Luckwell.

Bench:Morgan, Watters, Pinker, Harrison, Barber.

Last season P20 W14… 10th …. 71 points

Clifton in the end managed an OK season never totally clear but generally hovering above the 6 or so clubs flirting with the relegation zone. After getting off to a slow start, losing 5 out of the first 6 fixtures they more or less got back on track with a near 50/50 record. They had some good results beating Taunton (30-32), Canterbury (25-42) and Redingensians (25-19) but the high-light has got to be the result against mighty Chinnor (31-17). Brad Barnes was top points scorer with 171. Ian Clark (wing/full-back), Danny Wells (centre) and Max Woodward (lock/back-row) were top try scorers with 9 a-piece.  Brad Barnes featured in 29 matches with Woodward making 27 appearances. 48 players were used to fulfil the fixtures.

The season so far……P11 W4 D1…13th …22 points (Raiders 10th 25 points)

All eyes were on Clifton after the first round of matches, when they held pre-season firm favourites Chinnor to a draw (24-24) at Cribbs Causeway. They could have won save for a last play try from the visitors! The wins have been against Canterbury (25-15), Wimbledon (25-20), Old Redcliffians (45-21) and Broadstreet (32-35). They are yet to register a losing bonus point.

The players

As usual a list of the players used in recent fixtures is provided together with more a little more detail as to their credentials. Regular props Alex Giltrow and Charlie Bullimore are missing from the list…Alex is with Bristol for the season, Charlie has sustained a broken ankle. Ricky Cano is on loan from Plymouth Albion following Charlie’s unfortunate injury.

Another testing fixture for Raiders on the road, try to get down to Bristol to give your support!


………..C’Mon Raiders!!!.

Name   (age) *played v Raiders Apps 2017-8 Tot app Join Pts Honours Position/Previous Clubs                                             *Played v Raiders
Charles Hubert (23) 5/4R 9 2017 1T Full Back: Jersey Colts
Ian Clark *(25) 9/1R 46 2015 5T Full Back/Wing: Hartpury*42, Gloucester 5, Coventry*7
Callum Roberts* 10/1R 38 2015 10T Wing: Old Bristolians
Oscar James 2/1R 3 2017 Somerset Wing: Clevedon, Hornets.
Finlay Sharp* (20) 3 23 2016 1T Wing: Gloucester Junior Academy, Stroud
Jordan Kelly* (29) 1 58 2012 Wing: Exmouth 6.
Sam Harrison* (26) 2/1R 121 2011 Somerset Centre: UWE
Will Pomphrey*(29) 3 155 2009 Centre: Stalwart
Marcus Beer 3 3 2017 Centre: Chinnor*20
Brian Watters* 6/2R 28 2015 2T Centre:
Bentley Halpin (21) 3/1R 4 2017 1T Wing/Centre: Christ’s Brecon, Cardiff University, Bahrain Rugby.
Danny Wells* (31) 3 70 2014 5C/1P   Centre: Henley Hawks* 154, Wasps ‘A’ &7’s
Brad Barnes* 7/1R 107 2012 2015 9C/8P Somerset Fly Half: Lydney*28
Chris Levesley (23) 6/1R 7 2017 7C/3P GB 7s Students Fly Half: Jersey 15, Dragons, Ebbw Vale, Cardiff Met, Queensland Reds.
Mitchell Spencer* (24) 10 53 2014 1T Somerset Scrum Half: Dings* 12, Hartpury 15
Thomas Pinker* 1/1R 11 2016 1T Scrum Half: Dursley
Ricky Cano (24) 9 9 2017 LH Prop: Hartpury*38, Chinnor 48, Wharfedale 21, Hull Ionians 3, Rotherham Titans 3.
Elliot Booley* (29) 6/3R 38 2011 2016 TH Prop: Loughborough S 35, Richmond 9, Cinderford* 67
Nick English (18) 5 5 2017 TH Prop: Bristol Academy, SGS Filton
Tom Rowland (19) 0/4R 4 2017 England U18 Prop: Bristol Academy, St Benedicts Ealing, Bristol GS, St Brendans OB, Old Bristolians
Callum Simpson 0/2R 2 2017 Prop:
James Stephenson* (25) 7/3R 63 2011 2017 2T   Hooker: Bristol 6, London Scottish 4, Hartpury 44
Jack Williams* 5/5R 52 2015 2T Somerset Hooker: Cinderford*5, Clevedon
Benedict Edwards* 0/1R 12 2017 Hooker:
James Dun (18) 1 1 2017 England U18 Lock: Bristol Academy, Millfield, Old Bristolians
David Hill 6 6 2017 Lock:
Henry Harper (21) 9 16 2016 2T Somerset Lock: Hartpury 2.
Matthew Hall 9 9 2017 Lock: Rhiwbina RFC (Cardiff)
Hamish Renwick (21) 8/3R 20 2016 Dorset & W SW U18 Back Row: Bournemouth, Swindon
Rhys Luckwell*(25) 8/2R 54 2015 2T Wing Forward: Dings15, Cardiff , Cardiff University, Cinderford 4
Max Woodward* (27) 4/2R 72 2014 Wing Forward: Cardiff Blues
Chris Rovery* 2/4R 10 2017 Gloucester Wing Forward: Thornbury, Lydney* 18, Cinderford 5.
Andrew Chesters* (24) Captain 7 33 2016 2T No 8: Hartpury 12, Launceston* 20, Plymouth Albion 17