7th September 2019
Worthing Raiders 27 Old Redcliffians 20
Match report Colin Coulson, photos Warwick Baker
Here we go again, Game 1 of another long, exciting, thirty game season.
After a strong finish to the 2018-19 season hopes are high that Raiders will continue in the same manner at the start of this one.
Raiders welcome Old Redcliffians to the Rugby Park to kick off the 2019-20 season.
Pre-season training has gone well for Raiders with useful outings against Pavors (Nottingham) and Blackheath. Unfortunately, several players picked up injuries in these games and were unavailable for selection.
Long term injured players, Liam Perkins, Kemp Price, Dave McIlwaine and Harrison Sims are all well on the mend and should be playing again in the next couple of months.
Today’s selection sees the welcome return to Raiders of ex-captain Scott Barlow and Calum Waters. Henry Anscombe plays his first league game since joining in the summer. The rest of the squad were all part of the excellent finish to last season.
A dry, bright afternoon with a fresh breeze saw Raiders kick off attacking the northern end of the ground.
The visitors started strongly and made use of their powerful pack to get into attacking areas. Raiders weathered the initial storm but after twenty minutes found themselves ten nil down.
Raiders got back into the game five minutes later when a forty-metre break by Calum Waters nearly brought a try, however at the breakdown the visitors were penalised and Matt McLean opened his account for the season by kicking the three points. (3-10)
Old Redcliffians renewed their efforts and scored an unconverted try to extend the lead to 3-15.
After thirty five minutes Raiders had a lineout ten metres from the visitors’ line. From a catch and drive skipper Henry Birch got over the line to score a try which was unconverted. (8-15)
Just on half time the home side earned another penalty after putting the visitors under pressure, Matt McLean slotted the kick to close the half at 11-15.
Half time score: Worthing Raiders 11 Old Redcliffians 15
The visitors kicked off to start the second half defending the southern end of the ground. Within five minutes Raiders took the lead after kicking a penalty into the corner and from the ensuing lineout moving the ball wide to Sam Boyland on the wing to score in the corner. (16-15). Matt McLean converted to give Raiders an 18-15 lead.
Shortly after Kiba Richards was yellow carded and for ten minutes the fourteen Raiders defended brilliantly and thwarted repeated attacks on or near their goal line.
Once Kiba returned Raiders started to put more and more pressure on Old Reds’ defence, so much so that the visitors were forced to concede penalties which Matt McLean turned into points three times in ten minutes. Thus, with ten minutes left in the game Raiders’ lead was 27-15.
Not long before the end Elliott Luke received a yellow card and although the home side defended well, they could not stop the visitors scoring another unconverted try (27-20).
This score heralded the final whistle and a crowd of just on five hundred could celebrate a good start to the new season.
Scott Barlow earned the B&W Man of the Match award but was pushed hard by the excellent performances from fellow second row Jack Lee, Calum Waters, Tom Adams and one or two others.
A good start to the new season.
Full time score: Worthing Raiders 27 Old Redcliffians 20
Referee: Alan Chandrachud
B&W Man of the Match: Scott Barlow
Tries: Birch, Boyland
Cons: McLean x 2
Pens: McLean x 5
1. Henry Birch – Captain 2. Elliott Luke 3. Rhys Litterick 4. Scott Barlow 5. Jack Lee 6. Jon Whittall 7. Will Grief 8. Ryan Maguire 9. Sam Boyland 10. Matt McLean 11. Calum Waters 12. John Dawe 13. Jack Forrest 14. Harry Forrest 15. Henry Anscombe
16. Jordan Gibson 17. Tom Adams 18. Sam Cook 24. Kiba Richards 20. Tom Gwyther