Storer's milestone marked with National League status secured

Ryan Storer runs out ahead of his 200th Worthing Raider club appearance and 100th National League match on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Ryan Storer runs out ahead of his 200th Worthing Raider club appearance and 100th National League match on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Ryan Storer’s Worthing Raiders milestone was marked with National League 2 South safety on Saturday.

The 34-year-old front row played his 200th club game and reached a century of National League appearances in Raiders’ emphatic bonus-point 50-5 success over already-relegated Exmouth at Roundstone Lane.

It wasn’t an occasion Storer could enjoy until after the final whistle, though, with Worthing still in the midst of a National League 2 South relegation battle.

Starting the day second-bottom in the standings, nothing less than a win for Raiders would have seen them remain in the division.

As it was, they stuck to their end of the bargain, while Barnes, Barnstaple and London Irish Wild Geese - who were above Raiders in the standings - were all beaten on the final day.

After the news filtered through that Worthing had managed to finish 12th in the table to avoid relegation, Storer enjoyed his ‘special’ moment and said: “It’s been a long, long season but everyone is relieved we’ve managed to achieve safety.

“It certainly feels like I’ve played that many games, the body is a little sore. It’s a nice milestone to reach, but the most important thing was we remained in this division and we’ve done that.”

A nervy opening to their final game of the season, saw Raiders frustrated in the early exchanges against Exmouth.

But Storer revealed a little message helped get Worthing on track and scoring points.

He added: “The first 20 minutes it looked as though we were going to be in for a real battle. I just said to the boys ‘ride this early wave and stick to your task’ and fortunately the tries started coming.

“It’s never nice having to wait around for a little while at the end but we knew it was all but secure after looking at the other scores.”

“We’ve got a great bunch of lads here and it is a real relief that we did manage to stay up.”

After remaining a National League rugby team, Storer admits he is still unsure whether he will be back to add to those 200 club appearances.

He said: “I think myself and the team are just going to enjoy this moment then I’ll wait and see what happens. I mentioned earlier it’s been a long season and I’m going to look forward to a few weeks off.

“A few of the boys are feeling the same as I am, I’ll take a little break and see where I go from there.”

Second row Scott Barlow reached 100 club appearances in the clash aswell, a milestone Raiders head coach Jody Levett believes is ‘remarkable’.

He said: “It was fantastic for both Ryan and Scott to reach the milestones for the club which they did against Exmouth. It was an ideal way to end what’s been a hard season at times.”

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