Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Bournemouth Lions

Worthing Raiders v Bournemouth Lions RFC
21st December 2019
Kick-off 2pm

Bournemouth are our visitors for the ‘Festive Fixture’ this year, it will be their 2nd visit to Roundstone Lane for a National league match. Raiders visited ‘Chapel Gate’ way back in September for the second fixture of the season and returned with a useful 24-37 victory.

The Lions were promoted last season as Champions of South West Premier.

History, Background stuff

The club was founded way back in 1893, although there is a record of a match being played in 1888. Home matches were played at Dean Park with fixtures against the likes of Trojans, Portsmouth, Sherbourne School and Dorchester. Communication and transport difficulties caused the suspension of the club, but fixtures recommenced in 1906.

The club had moved to Meyrick Park and whilst the Great War intervened there are records of New Zealand Forces using the facilities. In 1923 Bournemouth Sports Club started up a side, but the original Bournemouth club continued to use Meyrick Park as their base. By 1928/9 the club was flourishing on and off the field with half the matches being played back at Dean Park. The fixture list by now included London Banks, Barnstaple, Exeter, Bath, and Sidmouth. At about this point in time Bournemouth Sports Club purchased land in Northbourne and offered usage to the rugby club, which was declined.

By season 1930/31 the Sports Club team had a much-improved fixture list, with the ‘A’ teams of the likes of Blackheath, London Scottish, Harlequins and Richmond visiting, along with several more local clubs such as Yeovil, Salisbury and Portsmouth. By 1938 a merger of the two clubs was in train, but the war intervened. Post war Bournemouth RFC emerged as a section of Bournemouth Sports Club. The Easter Festival (started in 1937), Hampshire 7s and monopolizing the County cup were all very much part of the successful club in 1960s to 80s, with plenty of clubs calling in whilst on tour. A brief resume of their league record is provided below.

The club turns out 3 or 4 Senior XVs most Saturdays, along with various age groups Colts and U17s etc. Junior/Mini/Girls Rugby takes over on Sundays. A community club like ourselves. Ladies Rugby is played at U18 level

Wheelchair Rugby has been introduced and is successful.
Club Colours: Red with black detailing: Alternative: Black with yellow detailing

League Record
When the leagues started in 1987/8 the club was placed in South West 1 (level5) by virtue of their success in the Regional Merit Table. This level proved too high and they were relegated to South West 2. They struggled along at level 6 for three seasons but were relegated to Southern Counties league (L7) in 1990/1. Promotion gained in 1993/4 conveniently coincided with their centenary. The club continued to oscillate between levels 6 and 7 before establishing a regular spot in level 5 from season 2007/8. They were promoted to National 2 South in 2011/2 and lasted a couple of seasons. They settled back into South West Premier (L5), losing to Guernsey in the play-off in 2017/8. Last season saw them run away with the league, returning once again to National 2 South.

Last season South West Premier P26 L1 Champions…. 118 points.
A very successful season saw promotion by 17 points from runners-up Barnstaple, who lost the promotion play-off to Westcliff (44-5).
Lions had the league and promotion in the bag with four matches still to play, after an impressive win (41-10) against Exmouth.

The team also scored a tantalizing 999 points conceding 352.
Sam Hardcastle scored 21 tries, Grant Hancox 143 points, prop forward Alan Manning started every match.

Links with Worthing
In the pre-league era we must have played Bournemouth at 1st XV level, if only in a touring capacity, but regretably there is no detail of a fixture mentioned in the records. There are fixtures between the clubs at 2nd XV level in the Zoo league.
We did however have a league fixture against The Lions in season 2012-3, following their promotion as champions of L5 in season 2011-12. We did not play them in 2013-14 as we were promoted to National1.

Detail of the results:
2012/13: WR 45 BL 14                           BL 15 WR 43
2019/20: BL 24 WR 37

14th September 2019 Bournemouth Lions 24 Worthing Raiders 37
On a near perfect afternoon weatherwise, Raiders required to get on the score-board early as ‘Chapel Gate’ is a stronghold for the Lions, unbeaten on home turf since October 2017. Harry Forrest stepped up, crossing after 2 minutes, in fact Raiders put in a lively opening display with tbp in the bag on the 30 minute mark 3-27. Lions put in a spirited comeback with tries either side of the break to pull the score-line back to 17-30 with 25 minutes remaining, but David McIlwaine, back after long term injury, took a great line to seal matters for the visitors. Sam Hardcastle crossed in the dying minutes for the hosts. (league points 0-5).

Lions: Hancox, Stewart, Chislett, Gleadowe, Everett-Bolter, Pope, Veneroso: Davies, Manning, Cotterell, Leadbeater, Knott, Bennett, Russell, Rees.
Bench: Napier, Griffiths, Snell, Hardcastle, Spiller.
Scoring: T: Everett-Bolter (38m), Napier (55m), Hardcastle (80m); C: Hancox x3 : P: Hancox (7m)

Raiders: Anscombe, Forrest H, Forrest J, Gwyther, Spencer, McLean, Boyland, Birch, Luke, Litterick, Barlow, Lee, Whittall, Grief, Richards.
Bench: Gibson, Adams, Dawe, McIiwaine, Fowler.
Scoring: T: Forrest H (2m & 12m), Forrest J (18m), McLean (30m), McIlwaine (71m): C: McLean x3 (2m, 30m &71m): P: McLean x2 (16m & 42m)

This season so far…P14 W2…. tbp 1 lbp 3 League position 16th (12 points) Raiders 8th (42 points)
The position does not look good, but Lions can take heart from recent results. Picking-up a bonus point last weekend at Redruth (17-12), always a difficult task getting much at ‘hell-fire’ corner. A win the previous Saturday against Old Redcliffians (24-23) and a last minute defeat at the hands of Leicester Lions (16-17) was a heart breaker, but still a good result against a team in the top five. Their other win was on the 12th October, a 5- pointer against Westcliff (39-12), with the other lbp against Dings ((26-33).

The abandoned match at Sutton & Epsom, when the floodlighting failed in a local power-cut, is to be replayed. The match was stopped in the 62nd minute with S&E leading (20-15).

The players
A list of the players used in the Titans match is provided, along with further information as to their credentials. A number of their more regular players (7), missed the visit to Cornwall. As mentioned in the pre-view ahead of the September match, Lions have retained most of the team that achieved last season’s promotion, although Joe Tarrant (hooker), Jack Hennings (lock) and Ben Allman (wing-forward) have retired. Karim Lynch (full-back) has returned to Ampthill. They still have a number of stalwart performers not least Alan Manning (now hooker), who has featured in every match. Injury plagued past captain Matt Warwick (back-row) has recently returned as has New Zealander Toby Kenneally (lock) after missing a couple of seasons with a serious leg injury. Mike Pope (fly-half) has recently taken over the Head Coach role.

The ‘Festive’ fixture is always a great occasion, with the traditional lunch sold out months ago. If you are dining get out on the balcony to encourage the boys along, otherwise get along in plenty of time to get behind the team from the touchline, as you know another W will make the festive season that tad more enjoyable.

Apart from wishing my regular reader a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year, I am sure that you will all want to join me in wishing absolute Stalwart and points gatherer ‘Supremo’…. Matt McLean…. all the very best as he is getting married this Saturday!!! (and missing the match….shock/horror!!!)

Heartiest Congrats to you and your family from all at WRFC (and I’m sure everyone who knows you in the world of Rugby) ….All the best!

………..C’Mon Raiders.

Name/age*     played v Raiders 14/9/19 Apps 2019-20 Total N2 apps Join Points Honours Position/Previous Club/s                *Played v Raiders
Played @Redruth  14th December 2019 Redruth 17 Lions 12
Alex Sunderland (29) 6/3R 36 2013 1T/1P /3C Hampshire Full Back:
Robert Johnson (29) 1 1 2017   Wing:
Dan Kirkpatrick (25) 7 7 2017 1T   Centre:
Carlos Snell*(22) 7/5R 12 2015 Dorset & Wilts U20 Centre: Bournemouth Youth
Dan Stewart* (29) 7/1R 8 2016 4T   Wing: Havant*17
Mike Pope*(29) Head Coach 9/2R 11 2008/10 2016 Eng Students Eng Univ 7s Fly Half: Bournemouth, Taunton*20, Exeter Chiefs & 7s, Cornish Pirates 75, Redruth 2.
Grant Hancox* (28) 13 13 2014 1T/26P/18C British Police, Hampshire Scrum Half: Kenilworth, Hartpury
Tom Napier*(29) 3/6R 9 2017 1T   LH Prop: Wimborne, Hartpury, Cinderford,     Pompadour (Fr)
Alan Manning* (33) 15 64 2005 1T   Hooker: Sutton & Epsom. 300+ Appearances for Lions
George Cotterell* (20) 9/1R 10 2019 Hampshire U20 TH Prop: Bracknell, Newbury
Ben Roberts (24) 13 13 2018 1T Royal Navy Hampshire Lock: Gosport & Fareham
Toby Kenneally (33) 8/1R 9 2016   Lock: Lyttelton (NZ)
Matt Warwick (34) 2/3R 5 2014   BS Wing Forward: Capt. 2016
Ben Russell*(25) 10/1R 11 2018 1T Hampshire OS Wing Forward: New Milton
Ali Bennett*(28) 7/1R 8 2016   No 8:
Joe Spiller*(21) 3/4R 7 2017     LH Prop: Bath U18, Beechen Cliff School
Conrad Carkeet (19) 5/4R 9 2017   Hampshire Back Row: Bournemouth Youth:
Sam Knott*(23) 7/6R 13 2014   Lock: Bournemouth Youth
Joshua Pidgley (18) N/U 2019   Bournemouth Youth
Ethan Goudie (18) N/U 2019   Bournemouth Youth
Played Recently Last Played  
Ben Meaden (24) 6/1R 8 2014 7th Dec Wing: University of Bath, Bedford Blues Academy, Bournemouth Youth
Freddie Gleadowe* (28) 8 8 2016 3T 7th Dec Hampshire Centre: Southampton University, Basingstoke
Scott Chislett* (32) 9/1R 58 2007 7th Dec     Dorset & Wilts Centre: Bournemouth Y. 300+ Appearances for Lions
Alexander Everett-Bolter* (28) 11/1R 12 2015 3T 7th Dec Hampshire Wing:
Mike Davies*(29) 9/2R 11 2016 7th Dec Cheshire  Dorset & Wilts LH Prop: Caldy, Waterloo, Clifton, Cinderford, Hartpury, UWE, University of Gloucester
Joe Rees*(31) © 3 32 2013 7th Dec Hampshire No8: Sandown & Shanklin
Sam Hardcastle* (38) 4/5R 65 1999 2T 7th Dec    Dorset & Wilts Scrum Half: Bournemouth Y. 300+ Appearances for Lions
James Griffiths* (18) 2/5R 71 2019   23rd Nov Lock: London Irish Academy