Match report Colin Coulson. Photos Warwick Baker.
The game this Saturday against Chinnor was the first in a three week sequence against the top three sides in the league. The visitors started the season as one of the favourites for promotion and the strength in depth of their squad reflects their intention to achieve this goal.
Raiders welcomed back skipper Liam Perkins and Jide Ajayi made his first start since joining the club.
It was a dry and breezy afternoon as the visitors kicked off in front of another big crowd at Roundstone Lane. Conditions suggested a fast open game was likely and that is exactly what occurred.
Raiders collected the ball from the kick off and in the first four minutes maintained possession as they made ground from their own twenty two metre line to within five metres of the Chinnor try line. A great passage of play but the much needed early score eluded the home side. When Chinnor had possession it was obvious they would play in a fast, open and positive fashion.
The first twenty minutes saw both sides playing with great intent but neither team was able to break down the opponents’ defence and so the game remained scoreless throughout this period.
Chinnor’s No 8 was yellow carded for a high tackle on Matt Walsh and the home side sought to take advantage with the extra man. Unfortunately a few minutes later Kieran Leeming also received a yellow card for a deliberate knock on and to make matters worse the referee also awarded a penalty try for his misdemeanour. 0-7 after twenty one minutes.
Within a couple of minutes the visitors stretched their lead to twelve points with an unconverted try.
Raiders remained confident in their play and looked capable of breaking the Chinnor defence, however it was the visitors who scored next after winning the ball at a scrum in centre field, allowing the ‘scoring machine’ Phil Chesters to touch down under the posts. (0-19)
The home side were undeterred and renewed their efforts. With the ball being moved back and forth across the width of the pitch, after numerous phases Liam Perkins drew two defenders and off loaded to Kemp Price who romped in the score unopposed. Matt McLean added the extras to make it 7-19. Chinnor extended their lead to 7-24 on the stroke of half time.
Half time score: Worthing Raiders 7 Chinnor 24
A high kick from Kieran Leeming saw the second half underway. Kiba Richards nailed the receiver and Raiders immediately took the attack to the visitors. A bit like the first half Raiders kept the Chinnor side pinned on their own five metre line for several minutes but were unable to come away with anything to show for their efforts.
Chinnor extended their lead to 7-31 in the fifty first minute. The home side continued to create chances and after a good catch and drive George Harris was thwarted by the defence as he tried to force his way over the line.
The quality and experience in the Chinnor side enabled them to convert half chances into points in a manner that befits promotion favourites. This they did again after sixty two minutes to take the lead to 7-38.
Raiders mounted another excellent attack led by a rampaging break from Kiba Richards. After several phases it was Kiba who eventually scored the try near the posts for Matt McLean to convert and make the score 14-38.
The Worthing bench had been used in its entirety in an effort to compete with the visitors and when Jide Ajayi had to leave the field injured the scrums became uncontested and Raiders had to play the final minutes with fourteen players.
Chinnor completed the scoring in the last minute.
Final score: Worthing Raiders 14 Chinnor 45
Chinnor were deserving winners but Raiders played a full part in a very entertaining match. A lot of positives for the home side to build on.
B&W Man of the Match: Kemp Price
Tries: Kemp Price, Kiba Richards
Cons: Matt McLean 2
- Kieran Leeming 14. Jack Maslen 13. Kiba Richards 12. Jack Forrest 11. Sam Hampson 10. Matt McLean 9. Matt Walsh 1. Jide Ajayi 2. George Harris 3. Rhys Litterick 4. Jack Lee 5. Jack Lake 6. Jamie Redmayne 7. Kemp Price 8. Liam Perkins – Captain
- Will Grief 17. George Head 18. Jon Whittall 19. Ross Miller 20. Sam Boyland