Saturday 23rd September
Match report and photos by Colin Coulson
“So near yet so far.”
Redruth is a difficult place for any visiting team to achieve a win and for Raiders the Recreation Ground remains a venue where victory still eludes them.
After a wet week in Cornwall match day turned out to be a lovely, sunny day spoilt only by a strong wind blowing up the slope.
Raiders made a couple of changes in the pack as skipper Liam Perkins and John Dawe were unavailable and new signing Jide Ajayi was included in the squad.
Playing down the slope and into a strong wind it was Raiders who kicked off. It took a while for both sides to settle in the windy conditions. Possession was fairly even but because of the wind the game seemed to take place between Raiders’ 22 metre line and the halfway line. Kicking out of defence was difficult so the ball was moved through the hands by the visitors in an effort to invade the Reds’ territory. Whenever Redruth regained the ball the game was quickly back on the visitors’ 22 metre line.
The set piece started well for Raiders, the first scrum resulting in a penalty against the home side and the lineout worked effectively to give the backs ball to work with.
During the first twenty minutes both sides played attractive rugby but it was the defences that were on top. Raiders’ defence did sterling work as it thwarted many good attacks by Redruth. The first points of the game came after twenty five minutes when Redruth scored an unconverted try to lead 5-0.
During the next ten minutes Raiders looked the more likely to score with typical breaks by Kiba Richards and Matt McLean setting up good attacking positions. After thirty five minutes Kieran Leeming released Sam Boyland on the left wing, the ball made its way back into centre field where Joe Spurgeon set off on a bulldozing run, from the ruck the ball went to jack Forrest who passed to Jack Maslen to dive in at the corner to score the visitors’ first points. The conversion from the touchline, against the wind, narrowly missed. (5-5)
Within a couple of minutes the home side were able to take the lead with a try from an interception to extend their lead to 12-5. It was a very close contest throughout the half and it was no surprise that from a penalty the home side chose to kick for goal rather than go to the corner to attempt the catch and drive from the lineout. Fortunately for Raiders the kick was unsuccessful and at half time the score 12-5 in favour of Redruth.
Half time score: Redruth 12 Raiders 5
Redruth restarted the game after the halftime break and were quickly on the attack forcing Raiders to concede a penalty. The home side again chose to kick for goal and this time they added the three points to extend the lead to 15-5.
Although the home side were putting more pressure on the visitors’ set piece enough ball was still being produced to allow Raiders to build good attacking situations.
After fifteen minutes Raiders had a line out within ten metres of the Redruth try line. Having lost the ball at the line out the visitors managed to regain possession at the maul, the ball was then moved across field towards the posts until a neat pass back inside to Jack Maslen coming off the blindside wing resulted in him bouncing off two tackles to force his way over the line for his second try of the game. Matt Mclean added the extras to close the gap to 15-12.
There then followed the best individual break of the match when Kiba Richards broke out of several tackles to sprint for the line only to have the ball knocked out of his hands by a last ditch tackle as he went to ground the ball.
Raiders continued to apply pressure and at times played outstanding rugby with backs and forwards linking expertly to break down the home sides defence. After 36mins their patience was rewarded when George Head finished off a multi-phase play with a try under the posts, Matt Mclean converted to give the visitors the lead 15-19. With only a couple of minutes left on the clock Raiders needed to close out the game but when the referee awarded a penalty to Redruth and they kicked to touch in Hellfire corner the inevitable happened, with a catch and drive try with the last play of the game. Leaving the home side winners 20-19 –“so near, yet so far.”
Full Time score: Redruth 20- Worthing Raiders 19
The team and coaches were disappointed as they knew they should have had a four point win instead of a losing bonus point. Despite the final score this had been a great team effort with several outstanding individual performances. Joe Spurgeon had his best game since joining the squad, Jamie Redmayne was back to his best after long term injury and the backs looked dangerous from anywhere on the field. The youngsters in the squad are gaining experience and confidence with every game played.
The players, coaches and support staff would like to thank the travelling Raider faithful for their support and hope that they enjoyed (as much as possible) the game. It is truly appreciated and helps raise the performance of the players.
- Kieran Leeming 14. Jack Maslen 13. Kiba Richards 12. Jack Forrest 11. Sam Boyland 10. Matt McLean – Captain 9. Matt Walsh 1. George Head 2. George Harris 3. Dan Sargent 4. Joe Spurgeon 5. Elliott Worrall 6. Jack Lake 7. Kemp Price 8. Jamie Redmayne
- Will Grief 17. Jide Ajayi 18. Rhys Litterick 19. Jack Lee 20.Sam Hampson
Tries: Jack Maslen 2, George Head
Cons: Matt McLean 2