Match report David Hinchliffe
The Raiders departed on Friday night for their game with Redruth, the furthest they travel in this league. Sam Boyland, Jack and Harry Forrest, Kieran Leeming and Ross Miller joined the squad with Sam Cook, John Dawe, Calum Waters, Matt McLean and Will Sanderson rested or unavailable.
The going was “heavy” at The Rec and there was a strong wind to contend with, although this was blowing up the hill to go some way to negating the famous slope down to Hell Fire Corner. Redruth won the toss and chose to play uphill first, their favoured option at their home ground. The Raiders were looking to play an open game whilst their hosts were focussed on controlling the pace of play and dominating through their forwards.
Redruth went close from the start but conceded a penalty to allow their visitors to clear their lines. The wind was making kicking from hand and off the tee difficult and both sides alternately gave their respective support scares and cheers. After fourteen minutes Scott Barlow was replaced by Jack Lee and shortly afterwards The Raiders conceded a kickable penalty and Honey opened the scoring for Redruth with a penalty goal. Five minutes later the Cornishmen increased their lead. Worthing failed to cover the blind side at a scrum just on their opponents’ ten metre line and the scrum half made a good break before releasing his winger to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but the lead opened to (8-0).
With the prospect of having the slope in their favour in the second half, The Raiders were keen to keep the score at that level and they almost succeeded but after thirty-nine minutes Redruth mounted a sustained attack through their forwards and after many phases they rumbled over the line. Honey was on target this time and the break saw the Sussex side fifteen points adrift. (15-0)
Grant Gatford replaced Rhys Litterick from the restart. Having come so close to holding their opponents to an eight point gap only to concede on the stroke of half time, the last thing The Raiders needed was to allow their opposition the first score of the second session, unfortunately that is exactly what they did. A long range penalty attempt in the third minute hit the post and a lineout error followed by a scrum penalty allowed Redruth to establish position in the Raiders 22m. Awarded a penalty, the visitors cleared to half way and set up a promising drive from the lineout however they lost possession and the scrambling defence was unable to cover the counter attack. The score was again out wide, and the conversion missed but the gap was now twenty points. (20-0)
Eager to make their mark it was the visitors’ forwards turn to mount a sustained attack on their hosts’ line, but they could not find a way through and eventually the ball was lost. A good kick ahead by Redruth was chased well by their pack who sucked in the defence before releasing their full back to score in the corner. The wind and angle again prevented the conversion, but the gap was now looking too great. (25-0)
Elliott Luke and Kieran Leeming replaced Jordan Gibson and Tom Gwyther and The Raiders gave it their all to at least get on the scoreboard. With ten minutes to go Ross Miller replaced Harry Forrest but the scoreboard remained stubbornly static for the rest of the game. A disappointing performance after the excellent effort the previous week but The Rec is a tough place to go and many of the young players making their first visit will have benefitted from the trip. Next week the first home game of 2020 sees The Raiders entertain their old foes Henley for another tough game against a top three side.
Referee: Iain Kiy
1. Henry Birch 2. Jordan Gibson. Rhys Litterick 4. Scott Barlow 5. Jack Lake 6. Freddie Holmes 7. Jon Whittall 8. Liam Perkins – Captain 9. Sam Boyland 10. Henry Anscombe 11. Curtis Barnes 12. Tom Gwyther 13. Jack Forrest 14. Harry Forrest 15. Will Beer
16. Elliott Luke 17. Grant Gatford 18. Jack Lee 19. Kieran Leeming 20. Ross Miller