Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Clifton

Worthing Raiders v Clifton RFC
15th February 2020
Kick-off 2pm

Our old friends and rivals Clifton RFC travel to Roundstone Lane this Saturday to take on Raiders. This will be their 10th visit for a National league 2(S) match. Raiders visited their extensive facility nearby to Cribbs Causeway last November and returned with a much needed five-pointer (10-24).

Clifton history.
Clifton RFC was founded in1872 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. Since1976 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 links with Gloucester Academy and 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……. (series Raiders 10 Clifton 9)
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                     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 – W 38                     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
2017-18:    C 34 – W 36                    W 24 – C 36                      W 7th C 11th
2018-19:    C 37 – W 15                     W 29 – C 49                      W 9th C 6th
2019-20:   C 10 – W 24

2nd November 2019 Clifton 10 Worthing Raiders 24
It was 5th (29 points) v 12th (12 points) as Raiders set forth for the 9th match of the campaign, although the team were determined to end their six match losing streak. (The ‘Rolling-Maul’ predictors unanimously favoured the home side, mainly 5-0!). Torrential rain once again greeted the teams and the spectators, who earlier in the day had witnessed the goings-on in Yokohama. (It would seem that some present had also been drowning their sorrows!). Anyway, the important match of the day brought about what Raiders and their faithful craved, an end to the streak of Ls. It was a tight encounter (HT 10-10), but Raiders made fewer mistakes in the diabolical conditions. The Rugby Paper made Raiders stand-off, Anscombe ‘Man of the Match’…‘He managed the game well and consistently moved Raiders into profitable attacking positions’. (He also had his fan club present!)

Clifton: Dunn, Sharp, Leversley, Harrison, Halpin, Dixon, Spencer M, Cano, Stratford, Bullimore, Harper, Hall, Wilson, Broady, Gibbons.
Bench: West, Spencer J, Norman, Barnes, Griffiths.
Scorers:T: Levesley :C: Dixon :P: Dixon.

Raiders: McLean, Forrest H, Forrest J, Gwyther, Barnes, Anscombe, Waters, Birch, Luke, Litterick, Lake, Perkins, Holmes, Dawe, Richards.
Bench: Gibson, Gatford, Cook, Maguire, Beer.
Scorers: T: Dawe, Luke, Forrest J, Waters: C: McLean x 2.

Last season P30/ W12/ D1 6th 70 points…. ‘Top of the middle’ Raiders 9th 68 points
Clifton finished top of the congested mid-table pack, although 30 points behind 5th placed Taunton, but 4 points ahead of 11th placed Barnes. In all the circumstances a reasonably successful season, cruising along in mid (ish) table for most of the season. They achieved the ‘double’ over local rivals Old Reds as well as against ourselves, Barnes and Bury St Edmunds. A blot being the defeats home and away against relegated Guernsey. They also lost on home turf to another relegated side LIWG (11-22).

Brad Barnes was top points scorer on 131, Will Pomphrey (now retired) topped the try scorer’s list with 15. Mitchell Spencer (scrum-half) was involved in 29 of the fixtures with Henry Harper (lock) making 26 starts. 50 different players were involved in the 30 fixtures.

This season so far……P22/ W14/ L8/ 72 points 5th (Raiders 9th 55 points)
At the end of November with the record at W10/L3, 47 points lying 4th (6 points adrift from pace-setters TJs) there was a sense that the ‘Lavender & Blacks’ could press for a least a play-off spot. (It should be noted that the scalps of Hawks (17-20) and TJs (23-22) are included in the 10 wins). Regrettably, the five fixtures in December and through to the New Year resulted in 4 defeats: Redruth (30-35), Esher (32-26), Bury St Edmunds (24-22) and Leicester Lions (13-39), thereby putting paid to any fanciful thoughts! Nevertheless, a fine season so far, with 7 fixtures (after Raiders) to create mayhem amongst promotion contenders!

The players
A list of the players used in the last fixture against Titans is provided along with details on a few more players who have been used in recent fixtures.

Most of the players mentioned on the list will be known to Raiders and their supporters, from the November encounter or from other matches in the series. Thirteen members of the side that played against Taunton last week also played against Raiders in November. As usual, Brad Barnes leads the points scoring with 158. Back-row forward Harry Bate leads the try scorers with 10, wing three-quarter Finlay Sharp has 8.

As always, another tough challenge awaits Raiders, who no doubt will be envigorated by their winning exploits at Westcliff last week.

The win down in Bristol last November nudged Raiders into a narrow 10-9 lead in the series, it would be good to get a little more daylight in this side-show! This fixture always provides plenty of decent rugby to entertain the spectators, so please try to get along, enjoy the match and get behind the boys with your touchline support!

(‘Be kind to the match officials, it is a difficult job…’)

………..C’Mon Raiders.


*played v Raiders

2nd Nov 2019

Apps       2019-20 Total


Join Points Honours Position/Previous Clubs 

*Played v Raiders

Played v Titans 7th February 2020 LOST 10- 36
Chris Levesley* © (25) 21/1R 63 2017 6T GB 7s Students Full Back: Jersey 15, Dragons, Ebbw Vale, Cardiff Met, Queensland Reds.
Alex Kilbane 4/1R 5 2019   Centre: Old Redcliffians*5
Tom Stanton (20) 7/3R 10 2019 1T   Wing: Cheltenham College, Gloucester 2
Keiran Griffiths* (22) 14/6R 20 2019 4T   Centre: Bedford, Llanelli
Bentley Halpin*(23) 14/2R 50 2017 4T   Wing: Christ’s Brecon, Cardiff University, Bahrain Rugby.
Brad Barnes* (27) 18/3R 164 2012-14  2015 1T/45C/ 21P Somerset Fly Half: Avon, Bath Academy, Oldfield, Lydney*28
Mitchell Spencer* (27) 21 114 2014 2T Somerset Scrum Half: Dings* 12, Hartpury 15
Ricky Cano* (28) 21 43 2017   LH Prop: Hartpury*38, Chinnor*76, Wharfedale 21, Hull Ionians 3, Rotherham Titans 3.
Jack Williams 8/7R 99 2015 4T Somerset Hooker: Cinderford*5, Clevedon
Jack Spencer*(23) 5/3R 20 2019 Eng U18 TH Prop: Gloucester 1, Stourbridge 48, Hartpury 2
Joe Quinn (30) 8 79 2013-16  2019   Lock: Otley 44, Wharfedale 25, Nottingham 25, Hartpury 48
Matt Hall * 15/3R 50 2017   Lock: Bury St Edmunds, Rhimbina (Cardiff)
Tom Wilson* 15/4R 19 2019   BS Wing Forward: Moseley, Cardiff University
Dan Broady* 11/6R 17 2019 2T   OS Wing Forward: Glos, Hartpury, Cinderford*29
Harry Bate (26) 12/5R 17 2019 10T Eng Counties


Wing Forward: Blackheath 47, Old Albanian 41, Blaydon*39, Newbury
Luke Stratford* (25) 15/4R 19 2019 9T   Hooker: Jersey 11, Hartpury 53
Mark Roberts 17/3R 43 2018 2T   TH Prop: Reading, Oldfield OB
Henry Harper* (24) 16/4R 76 2016 7T Somerset Lock: Hartpury 2.
James Dixon* (34) 6/8R 14 2019 4P/11C Army Fly Half: Swansea, Moseley, Ospreys, Bedwas,
Harry Ascheri 0/2R 2 2020   Wing: Bristol 1
Played Recently Last Played  
Chris Rovery 2/5R 44 2016 1st Feb Wing Forward: Thornbury, Lydney*18, Cinderford 5.
Harry Butler 3 3 2019   Scot u20 1st Feb Lock: Gloucester 3, Hartpury 2
Finlay Sharp* (23) 17 40 2016-8


8T 25th Jan Wing: Bury St Edmunds 23, Glos Jnr Academy, Stroud
Charlie Bullimore*  (25) 1/7R 150 2012 1T 25th Jan Prop: Clifton Youth
Jack Clement 5 5 2019 1T England U20            25th Jan No 8: Cheltenham College, Gloucester
Tom Jones (24) 7/2R 9 2019 3T1C Scotland U18           18th Jan Wing: Luctonians 75
Sam Harrison* (28) 7/7R 176 2011 5T 11th Jan           Somerset Centre: UWE
Ethan Gaynor 0/5R 5 2019   11th Jan Hooker: Clifton Youth
Alex Lambert 8/1R 34 2017 1T 4th Jan Wing: Devonport Services, Cardiff University
Niall Gibbons* (24) 14 25 2019 5T Glos U20                    4th Jan No8: Glos Academy, Hartpury, Stourbridge 40