Raiders ready for final-day title decider

Charlie McGowan
Charlie McGowan

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson is geared up for a final-day National 2 South title decider with Henley Hawks –if it goes that far.

Tries from Kieran Leeming, Charlie McGowan and Will Stutchbury, along with two Joe Govett conversions, secured a 19-7 win at Cornish All Blacks on Saturday, while second-placed Henley won 62-17 at home to Dings Crusaders.

A Dings win would have seen Raiders crowned champions, but it now looks like the title will come down to a head-to-head shoot-out between Worthing and Henley when they face off on May 4.

There is a real possibility, however, that with Raiders having played a game more, they could clinch the title and automatic promotion when not in action this weekend.

Henley face a must-win match at Shelford to sustain their title hopes – a Shelford win would leave the final-day clash a dead rubber, unless Henley get two bonus points.

Dawson hailed his side’s discipline after a feisty clash in Cornwall, despite Charlie McGowan’s sending off late on.

He said: “They did not have much to play for but just seemed to want to destruct our team. We stuck at it and showed good discipline as we know what is at stake in two weeks’ time.

“We got through it and we are looking strong going into the end of season decider.

“We may have lost a couple of players, though. Matt Miles has broken his arm, and, obviously with regards to appealing Charlie’s red card.

“Scott Barlow is back and he is an ample replacement if Charlie’s card doesn’t get overturned, so it could play into our hands.”

On Henley, Dawson added: “It could be a tough ask for them away at Shelford. They have a very good record at home and have had wins over a lot of the top-of-the-table teams, including us.”