Dawson still confident about Raiders’ survival

Raiders' Liam Perkins in action at Roundstone Lane, where Worthing will play three of their final five National 1 fixtures this season
Raiders' Liam Perkins in action at Roundstone Lane, where Worthing will play three of their final five National 1 fixtures this season

HEAD coach Kieron Dawson admitted he was disappointed that Worthing Raiders dropped into the bottom three of National 1 on Saturday, although is still confident that they will stay up.

Raiders had a free week on Saturday, when Henley Hawks won 23-13 at home to Blaydon to climb from second from bottom up to fifth from bottom and Raiders dropped a place to third from bottom as a result.

Henley, Tynedale and Raiders all have 50 points, which is two more than second-from-bottom Cinderford, who lost 29-28 at home to Richmond on Saturday, but do still have two games in hand.

Dawson said: “I thought that Cinderford maybe would have won on Saturday, so that wasn’t too bad a result for us as we have to play Richmond this weekend.

“We’ve just got to go out and try to win all five of our remaining games. That should be our target but we’ll have to win a minimum of four to be safe.

“Maybe three would be enough but we don’t want to be waiting on other results and want to keep things in our own hands.

“We are disappointed with our league position but it is what it is.

“We would have been happy with survival at the start of the season and that’s what we’ll be happy with now as well.

“However, after the first four or five games, when we realised how competitive we were, we wanted more than just survival.

“There’s still a lot to play for, though, and it’s going to be a nail-biting end to the season. But we’re confident that we’ve got enough in our locker to stay up.”

It looks as though it will be two sides from seventh-from-bottom Blackheath down to second-from-bottom Cinderford that will be relegated with bottom side Hull Ionians.

Raiders finish with three of their five games at home, while Cinderford end their season at home to Wharfedale on May 3 – the week after every other club at the bottom completes their league season.