Raiders bounce back with battling victory
Worthing Raiders got back to winning ways in National 2 South at Roundstone Lane this afternoon.
Tries from David McIlwaine, Kemp Price, returning Harry Forrest and replacement Henry Birch - his maiden senior try for the club - helped Raiders record a bonus-point 22-17 triumph in their rearranged clash with Canterbury.
Worthing were sent crashing to a surprise defeat at basement boys Broadstreet last time out but quickly put that loss behind them.
Light snow fell throughout Raiders' meeting with Canterbury and the home side nearly squandered 17-0 and 22-7 advantages before seeing the match out.
Raiders adjusted quicker to the testing conditions and were ahead inside four minutes. Neat work from Matt Walsh set winger David McIlwaine on his way and he eased over.
Kemp Price showed great strength following a Raiders scrum, getting the home side's second try on 21 minutes. Matt McLean made no mistake with the extras, ensuring Worthing went in leading 12-0 at the interval.
Just as they did in the first half, Raiders secured a quick score after the restart. Harry Forrest - returning to Roundstone Lane on loan from National League 1 outfit Esher - forced his way over on 42 minutes.
A lively few minutes shortly after Forrest's try set up an exciting finish to the fixture. Raiders replacement Jack Lake was shown a yellow card ten minutes after the restart, leaving the home side a man light.
Canterbury managed to register their first points three minutes later courtesy of Frank Morgan's converted try.
Worthing's Matt Walsh was on the receiving end of a nasty, high-tackle from Matthew Corker, which sparked a melee between both sets of players. Once things had calmed down, Corker was shown a yellow card on the hour.
With both teams briefly down to 14, Raiders replacement Birch managed to notch his first-ever senior try less than two minutes later.
Worthing now looked in control at 22-7 ahead but Canterbury pushed the home side all the way.
A storming run from Jonathan Murray saw him race away, bagging Canterbury's second try three minutes from time.
Raiders skipper Liam Perkins was shown a yellow card a minute later as the home side saw the match out with 14 players.
Murray's unconverted try - his second of the match - with the last play ensured his side stole a bonus-point as the home team edged it 22-17.
Raiders entertain sixth from bottom Clifton next Saturday.
RAIDERS: Ajayi, Luke, Gatford, Dingle, Spurgeon, Price, Harris, Perkins; Walsh, McLean, H.Forrest, J.Forrest, Richards, Maslen, McIlwaine. Replacements: Grief, Birch, Lake, Redmayne, Boyland.