Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Clifton

4th February 2017 Kick-off   2pm

Clifton travel from Bristol for their seventh visit to Roundstone Lane for a National League 2 fixture. Raiders visited Cribbs Causeway last October returning pointless (33 -17).

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                 W20  C27      C55  W18      W 6th C 5th

2010-11                 C10  W9       W37  C30       W 8th C 9th

2011-12                 C8  W28       W54  C10       W 3rd C 9th

2012-13                 W58  C3       C21  W 38      W 2nd C 12th

2013-14                 No fixture Raiders promoted to level 3

2014-15                 C34  W40      W24  C17      W 5th C 13th

2015-16                 C31 W18       W34  C33      W 11th C 12th

2016-17                 C33 W17

15th October 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, Neilsen, Leeming, Peach, Storer, Hadfield, Sargent, Barlow, McGowan, White P, Smith, Perkins.

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

Last season

Clifton (like Raiders) were amongst the 10 clubs jostling to avoid the relegation zone. Their solid home form with 10 wins and a draw saw them through (like Raiders). In the end they accumulated 66 points (Raiders 69 points). Top points scorer was James MacKay with 161 points, Brad Barnes had 126 points. Top try scorer was Will Pomphrey with14. Sam Harrison and Brad Barnes both made 29 appearances, with props Charlie Bullimore and Alex Giltrow putting in 28 appearances.

The season so far……P20 W10

After getting off to a slow start, losing 5 out of the first 6 fixtures they are more or less back on track with a 50/50 record, ninth in the league with 47 points. The pick of their victories since the visit of Raiders are probably the result at Taunton (30-32), along with success against LIWG (27-15) and Redingensians (25-19). There was also a great display recently at Canterbury (25-42). Last weekend they lost to title contenders Bishop’s Stortford (18-43).

The players

As usual a list of the players used in the last couple of fixtures is provided together with more detail as to their credentials. Brad Barnes, who has featured in all the fixtures, is once again the leading points scorer topping the 140 mark. Full-back Ian Clark is leading the try scorers with 8, whilst back-row forward Max Woodward is leading try scorer in the pack with 5.

The front row combination of Charlie Bullimore, Elliot Booley, Alex Giltrow and Dave Wheeler have featured  in most of the matches.

Name (Age)          *played 15th Oct Apps 2016-17 Tot app Join Pts Honours Position/Previous Clubs                     *previously played v Raiders
Ian Clark *(24) 15/2R 27 2015 8T/1C   Full Back/Wing: Hartpury* 42, Gloucester 5, Coventry* 6.
Elias Caven (20) 1 1 2017   Full Back: SGS Filton, Hartpury 5, Sumner RFC (NZ), Bristol Academy
Malcolm Peacock 6/3R 9 2016 1T   Wing:-
Jordan Kelly (28) 5/1R 55 2012 1T   Wing: Exmouth 6.
Will Pomphrey* (29) 9/1R 146 2009 1T   Full Back/Wing/Centre: –
Finlay Sharp (19) 5/6R 11 2016 3T   Wing: Gloucester Junior Academy, Stroud
James Newey* (18) 9/1R 10 2016 3T/3C/ 1P Ire U18 Centre: Christ College Brecon, Bristol Academy
Sam Harrison* (25) 16 108 2011 2T Somerset Centre: UWE
Danny Wells* (30) 15 60 2014 6T  Played v Raiders 15 times Centre: Henley Hawks* 154, WaspsA&7s
Brad Barnes* 19/1R 89 2012 2015 1T/37C21P/1dg Somerset Fly Half: Lydney*28
Mitchell Spencer* (23) 12/3R 38 2014 1T Somerset Scrum Half: Dings* 12, Hartpury 15
George Thomas 7/2R 31 2014 1T   Scrum Half: Clifton Youth
Charlie Bullimore*  (22) 12/5R 126 2012 1T   LH Prop: Clifton Youth
Alex Giltrow* 19/1R 48 2015 4T Somerset TH Prop: Clevedon
Elliot Booley* (28) 9/10R 23 2011 2016     Prop: Loughborough S 35, Richmond 9, Cinderford 67
Benedict Edwards 1/1R 2 2017     Hooker:-
Dave Wheeler* 30 13/4R 44 2015 1T Somerset Hooker: Dings* 202, Cinderford 8
Mike Barber (32) 3 32 2014     Lock: Pontypool 50+
John Hawkins* (20) 16 23 2016   Eng U18 Lock: Stowe School,  Bristol &  Northampton Academies
Henry Harper (21) 4/2R 6 2016   Somerset Lock: Hartpury 2.
Rhys Luckwell(25) 3/4R 34 2015     Wing Forward: Dings15, Cardiff , Cardiff University, Cinderford4
Max Woodward* (26) 13/5R 57 2014 5T   Wing Forward: Cardiff Blues
Christopher Rovery 2 2 2017 1T   Wing Forward: Lydney* 18, Cinderford 5.
Josh Bayliss* (19) 8 8 2016 2T Eng U18/19 Wing Forward: Wellington, Millfield, Bath Academy
Alfie To’Aola Vaeluaga* (36) 10/2R 34 2015 3T Samoa (6) No8/Wing Forward: Rotherham Titans 74, Orrell 25, Plymouth 49, Bristol 65, York C 42, L.Welsh 14,Chinnor 26.
Mike Uren 3/5R 31 2015 2T   No8/Lock: Dings* 60, Cinderford 10.
Andrew Chesters* (24) 13/5R 18 2016 1T No8/Lock: Hartpury 12, Launceston* 20, Plymouth 17

Another testing fixture for Raiders…..but this time on home turf!!!


………..C’Mon Raiders.