WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club tore up the form book to complete the double over Fylde at Roundstone Lane this afternoon.
Raiders beat the high-flying visitors 25-17 thanks to a Finlay Coxon-Smith hat-trick and Ben Loosmore try in a thrilling game of rugby.
It was two sides at either end of the form table facing off, with Fylde having seen straight victories in their last five, while Raiders were completely the opposite with five defeats in tow.
Worthing made three changes from last week’s home defeat against Doncaster as Iain Greenwood, Joe Burns and Sam Hewick came into the starting 15 for Matt Lasis, Dan Sargent, and James Redmayne.
Raiders had a chance for an early lead after just three minutes, but Joe Govett dragged a long-range penalty wide of the left post.
Fylde then profited from their first venture forwards after kicking for a line-out from a penalty. Daniel Burchall eventually grounded after the thrown ball, although Ryan De La Harpe’s attempted at the extras fell short.
The visitors almost extended their lead instantly from the restart as Oliver Brennand galloped away down the left wing, but James Chisholm got back to put in a superb try-saving tackle.
Raiders then retook the territorial game, but failed to find that final pass or gap as the Fylde defence held strong. Their task was made even harder as Oliver Viney was yellow carded on 21 minutes for a deliberate knock-on in a promising-looking Worthing move.
The hosts made the breakthrough on 26 minutes as a well-worked move shifted left and then right. The home side had numbers on the left wing with the final pass finding Coxon-Smith, who dived over. Govett’s attempt at the extras dropped just wide of the upright.
Raiders took a deserved lead on 36 minutes stemming from a good break forwards from the excellent Matt Miles. With Fylde and sixes and sevens at the back, a fine crossfield kick from Ben Dudley saw Coxon-Smith dive on and ground the ball.
Govett’s frustrating day with the boot, however, continued as his conversion hit the left-hand post.
Fylde made a strong start to the second half and drew level as a good switch of play eventually saw the ball shifted to Scott Barrow to cross in the far corner.
Raiders, however, stepped back up to the plate and a fine move saw the ball worked to Kieran Leeming, who was held up just short, before Raiders proffited from a penalty and Govett found his range to put Worthing 13-10 ahead on 51 minutes.
The visitors retook the lead on 57 minutes as a good break forwards brought Flyde into the 22 and Gareth Gore found space to cross under the posts with De La Harpe adding the extras.
But Raiders weren’t behind for long. Coxon-Smith capped a fine hat-trick on 62 minutes, going over just by the posts after a good drive by the Worthing pack on the near side with the ball quickly moved inside to the electric Coxon-Smith. Govett’s conversion took the score to 20-17.
Heading into the final ten minutes things really opened up with end-to-end action and Raiders sent on the powerful Charlie McGowan, Dan Sargent and James Redmayne.
That move paid off for the home side as they secured the bonus point on 73 minutes with a fantastic try. A bounding break from their own half saw a exquisite pass from Kiba Richards to Ben Loosmore on the overlap who raced home to extend their lead.
A nervy finish played out with a couple of Flyde breaks, but Worthing held strong and with the clock out, Dudley’s kick for touch just made the line to bring huge cheers from the healthy crowd.
WORTHING: Leeming, Greenwood, Loosemore, K.Richards, Coxon-Smith, Dudley, Govett, Cleveland, Miles, Burns, Gaynor, Barlow, Chisholm, Hewick, Perkins. Subs: McGowan, Sargent, Redmayne (Hewick, Burns, Chisholm 62) Lasis (Govett 78), O’Sullivan (McGowan 74).
Full report and reaction from head coach Kieron Dawson and Coxon-Smith in Thursday’s paper.