Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Dings Crusaders

Worthing Raiders v Ding’s Crusaders RFC
23rd November 2019
Kick-off 2pm

Ding’s Crusaders travel from their Bristol base for the 12th match in this campaign. They last visited Roundstone Lane in December 2018, when Raiders won a tight match 10-0, the game was played in near monsoon conditions, let’s hope for some autumn sunshine this week! This will be Ding’s 8th visit to ‘the Lane’ for a National League fixture.

History & Background stuff
In the nineteenth century ‘The Dings’ was a slum area of Bristol located between Barton Hill and Temple Meads. The Shaftesbury Crusade, a Christian mission in the area, encouraged sporting activity in the Dings. In 1897, H.W. Rudge founded Dings Crusaders as part of the Dings Boys Club. Dings is one of only two remaining founding members of the original Bristol Combination set up in 1901, the other being Bristol Saracens.

The club has had a number of ‘homes’, The Downs, Thrissels Ground, (Downend), but moved to Lockleaze in 1948. In 2014 the club announced that they were planning to sell the Lockleaze ground for housing development and move about 3 miles to Frenchay with ambitions to build an extensive new facility. By February 2018 the plans came to fruition with the first match taking place at the new ground, Shaftesbury Park. Around 1,000 spectators cheered Dings to victory against Weston-super-Mare 34-26. The facilities include a 3G pitch (used for league matches), extensive grassed areas as well as Clubhouse (and bar), Conference facilities and Gymnasium.

They turn out 3 senior teams most weeks with the usual Youth, Junior and Mini sections. There are strong links with Bristol Bears RFC.

Club Motto: Per Crucis Ad Corona: By means of the cross to the crown.
Club Colours: Royal Blue and Black hooped shirts and stockings, blue shorts.

League history
Since league structure was introduced in 1988, Dings gained three promotions between 1996 and 2003 to enter the National League (level 4) for season 2003-4. They maintained their league status for 12 seasons before relegation in 2015. They were promoted back to level 4 last season.

They have won the strong Bristol Combination league 6 times, the last occasion in 2010/11.

History against Worthing
After season 2007-8 Raiders joined Dings in National League 2 South (level 4) and regular fixtures have taken place apart from 2013/4 whilst we were visiting National 1.

2008-9: W 13 – D 13/ D 25 – W 26/ W 12th D 6th
2009-10: W 35 – D 7/ D 26 – W 10/ W 6th D 10th
2010-11: W 27 – D 20/ D 16 – W 8/ W 8th D 10th
2011-12: W 36 – D13/ D 26 – W 22/ W 3rd D 12th
2012-13: W 29 – D 25/ D 26 – W 45/ W 2nd D 10th (Worthing promoted)
2014-15: W 24 – D 28/ D 5 – W 31/ W 5th D 16th (Dings relegated)
2018-19: W10 – D 0/ D 33 W 36/ W 9th D 13th

Whilst Worthing have the edge in the series, nine wins to four with one drawn, nearly all the matches have been competitive and entertaining. Even though Dings were relegated in 2015 they still managed their first ever win at Roundstone Lane before they left!

15th December 2018 Worthing Raiders 10 Dings Crusaders 0
As mentioned above this fixture took place in appalling weather conditions, torrential rain, gusting very cold wind. Not a day for wingers or spectators! To their credit both teams tried to play decent rugby, although eventually, long kicks down field, if they stayed in play, were the order of the day. Scoring was never going to be high, a penalty in the first half and a converted try in the second, all to the home team, was it. Raiders match report summed things up: ‘An old-fashioned, muddy, forward dominated game but none the less full of good rugby with some inevitable handling errors.’

Raiders: McLean, Maslen, Richards, Sims, Forrest H, Forrest J, Walsh, Gatford, Luke, Adams, Dingle, Lake, Whittall, Dawe, Cuffe.
Bench: Gibson, Litterick, Lee, Holt, Harris.
Scorers: T: Forrest J (61m) C: McLean (61m) P: McLean (17m).

Dings: Gratton, Doggett, Smith, Arscott, Tovey, Perry, Plummer, Challenger, Anderson, Lloyd, Nowell, Knight, Goodman, Canulli, Holcombe.
Bench: Hall, Hawkesby, Weaver, Clark, Jackson.

13th April 2019 Dings Crusaders 33 Worthing Raiders 36
Raiders paid their first visit to Ding’s spanking new facility Shaftesbury Park, with substantial clubhouse, stand and impressive well-ironed 3G pitch. Whilst relegation was still mathematically possible for both teams, the general feeling was that survival had been achieved. The visitors opened the scoring in the first minute, but the home side had the try scoring bonus point in the bag in under half an hour. Oranges at 26-14. The visitors got cracking in the second period and in fact had taken the lead inside ten minutes of play with the 4 try bonus point (26-28). The home side scored again with 12 minutes on the clock to nudge into a 33-31 advantage, only for Jack Maslen, playing his last away match before retirement, to scuttle in for the winner with less than 5 minutes left. Great entertainment (2-5).

Dings: Gratton, Trinham, Smith, Brooker, Tovey, Arscott, Swan, Chase, Hawkesby, Hall, BiltonO, Curry, Holcombe, Williams, Canulli.
Bench: Anderson, Challenger, Knight, Flinn, Loader.
Scoring: T: Penalty (6m), Gratton (10m), Canulli (21m), Trinham (28m), Anderson (68m) C: Tovey x3.

Raiders: Forrest H, Maslen, Forrest J, Dawe, Barnes, McLean, Walsh, Birch, Luke, Sassone, Dingle, Cuffe, Lake, Harris, Whittall.
Bench: Gibson, Litterick, Cook, Holt, Spencer.
Scoring: T: Barnes (1m), Forrest J x 2 (34 & 43m), Dawe (48m), Maslen (75m) P: McLean (58m) C: McLean x4.

Last season… survived P30/ W10 56 points 13th Raiders 9th 68 points
Newly promoted Dings main objective was to stay in this tough league. Objective achieved with a couple of games to spare. They had 7 wins in the bag by the half-way point, but the back end of the season proved a little more difficult, but they prevailed. The home win against promoted side Canterbury (23-20) stands out. Centre three-quarter Matt Smith scored 11 tries from his 28 appearances. Hooker, sometime back-row Tom Anderson also made 28 appearances with back five forward Jake Holcombe making 27.

This season so far… P11/ W5/ L6 10th 27 points (Raiders 11th 26 points)
Dings have an identical playing record to Raiders although they have garnered one more LBP. In the first match of the season they came back from the long trip to Westcliff with (24-25) win, there other victories have been against Barnes (34-15), Sutton & Epsom (7-15), Old Reds (17-5) and Bournemouth (26-33), in a last play of the match job! After Raiders, Dings finish off the first round of fixtures with a visit from Henley Hawks, a trip to TJs and finally an encounter with Old Albanian.

The squad
A list of players used in last Saturday’s fixture against Titans is provided together with detail on a few more players who have been used in recent fixtures. Over half of the team* used in the Taunton fixture have played against Raiders in previous matches between our clubs. Incidentally, in the Titans’ game, Dings were 27-5 up after 30 minutes, but they were unable to add to this promising start eventually losing (27-45). They have fielded a new half-back pairing in recent fixtures. Scrum-half, Tom Knight who joined this season from Old Patesians, has had a number of complimentary reviews. He seems to be building on his experience with England Counties U20 tour to Romania, where he played alongside our own Rhys Litterick. Ollie Milner has consolidated his spot at fly-half, starting in the last 4 fixtures. In the back-row Anton Welling and Alex Bilton have been regulars after joining from Cleve and Chippenham. A name missing from the sheet is influential lock forward Oliver Bilton who had been a regular selection before suffering a broken leg in training ahead of the Taunton match. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Once again another interesting fixture awaits Raiders.

Regulars amongst the Faithful will know that our friends from the West Country always present a determined challenge and fixtures between Dings and ourselves usually provide exciting and skilful encounters. This fixture seems to bear all the hallmarks of another action-packed close-run thing…. please try and get along to witness what is likely to be another interesting chapter in this story….

the boys are very grateful for your continued support from the touchline or the balcony

 …Be that 16th man

……….C’Mon Raiders

Name/Age        *Played v Raiders Apps 2019/20 Total N2 Apps Joined Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances    *played v Raiders
Team v Taunton Titans 16th November HOME LOST 27-45 (0-5)
Luke Arscott* (35) Head Coach 9/2R 36 2017 1T Full Back: Chiefs 98, Plymouth 57, Bristol 108, Bath 13
Tom Hargan 10 20 2018 4T Wing: Bristol 1, Old Redcliffians 17
Matt Smith* (27) 9/1R 38 2016 Centre: Colchester
Marcus Brooker* (29) 10 72 2011 2T Somerset Centre: Cleve 23, Henley 1
Jordan Grattan* (24) 8/2R 34 2017 3T Ulster U20 Wing: UWE, Ballynahinch
Ollie Milner 7/2R 9 2019 1T/12C /7P Fly Half: Kingswood, Barnes, Wimbledon, Rosslyn Park
Tom Knight (20) 4/6R 10 2019 1T Eng Co U20 Glos U20 Scrum Half: Chosen Hill, Coney Hill, Old Patesians, Glos Academy
Duncan Ferguson 4/4R 8 2019 Loose Head Prop:
Joe Hawkesby* 7/3R 57 2013 2T Somerset Hooker:
Joshua Lloyd* (31) 8/3R 196 2008 Tight Head Prop: Bristol United, Stalwart
Jake Holcombe* (25) 11 94 2013 1T Somerset SW U20 Lock: North Bristol RFC, SGS Filton College, Bristol United
Gavin Curry* (37) 10/1R 87 2’09/11 2016 1T Lock: St Mary’s OB, Bristol, Ealing 65, Clifton*48
Anton Welling © 7/2R 9 2019 1T Blind side Wing Forward: Cleve
Tom Anderson* (26) 10/1R 41 2018 4T Open Side Wing Forward: Coney Hill
Alex Bilton 5/3R 8 2019 2T No8: Chippenham
Liam Appleton 9/2R 11 2019 3T Prop: Bath Spartans, Cleve
Richard Court 0/2R 2 2019 Lock:
Stean Williams* (39) DOR 0/3R 172 2003 Back Row: Henley Hawks*76, Coventry 1, Birmingham & S 4, Stourbridge 25
Steve Plummer* (32) 7/4R 159 2009 Glos Back: St Mary’s OB, Bath Academy
Sam Rees 2/1R 6 2014 Wing: Hull Ionians 23
Tyrese Johnson-Fisher (20) 3 3 2019 9th Nov Jamaica 7s Wing: Oakham, Leicester Academy, Bristol      Academy
Brad Doggett*(23) 2/2R 9 2018 1T 2nd Nov Centre: Chippenham
James Dun (20) 3 3 2019 2nd Nov  Eng U18 Lock: Millfield, Bristol U18, Bristol Academy
George Kloska (20) 1/2R 3 2019 2nd Nov Hooker: Bristol 3, Old Redcliffians 20, SGS Filton, Bristol Academy
Jack Bates (18) 2 2 2019 19th Oct  Eng U18 Wing: Bristol 2, SGS Filton, Bristol Academy
Sam Graham (22) 1 1 2019 1T 19th Oct No8: Chippenham, Hartpury, Bristol, Massey NZ
Connor Swan* (22) 0/2R 10 2019 1C/1P 19th Oct Cornwall U20 Scrum Half: Truro Coll, Camborne, Redruth*14, Cardiff Met