Under strength Worthing Raiders put in spirited performance at Old Albanian

This week Raiders were back on the road with a trip to St Albans to play Old Albanian.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:29 pm
John Dawe. Old Albanian v Worthing Raiders. Picture by Colin Coulson

After a run of difficult matches against the top sides in the league the squad expected another testing game but were confident, they could come away with a win.

Selection continues to be a real problem for Raiders. Last Saturday Scott Barlow and Will Grief were injured and not available this week. Jon Whittall and Calum Waters were also unavailable.

The starting fifteen was reshuffled and Will Fowler, Tom Adams, Danny Peach and Will Beer, on debut, were all added to the match day squad. In total ten players who would expect to be in the match day squad are unavailable through injury at this point in the season.

Henry Anscombe kicking Liam Perkins running. Old Albanian v Worthing Raiders. Picture by Colin Coulson

On a lovely, sunny afternoon and with the Old Albanian’s pitch in excellent condition a fast, open game could be expected.

The home side kicked off to start the game and were quickly into their stride. The visitors had had a much longer coach journey than they should have done, and it was reflected in their slow start to the game.

Old Albanian scored a converted try and Raiders replied with a penalty to make the score 7-3 after only a few minutes.

During the first half hour most of the possession was with the home side and they used it well to score four converted tries during this time. Raiders struggled to get into the game and missed tackles were punished by the home side

Sam Cook with ball. Old Albanian v Worthing Raiders. Picture by Colin Coulson

The final ten minutes of the half saw Raiders having much more possession and in attacking areas of the pitch. Despite coming close to scoring during this period the half ended at 28-3.

Half time score: Old Albanian 28 Worthing Raiders 3

Raiders restarted the game after the break and had the better of the first few minutes culminating in a try wide on the right for Tom Gwyther. Matt McLean converted from the touchline, 28-10.

The home side continued to capitalise on some basic errors made by Raiders and punished them with a further four tries.

A final flourish from the visitors resulted in a typical defence splitting run from Kiba Richards, who scored close to the posts. Matt McLean added the extras, 54-17.

Raiders put up a spirited performance, but inexperience and key missing personnel prevented them from seriously challenging Old Albanian on the day.

It is hoped that one or two of the injured players may return soon to bolster the squad.

Full time score: Old Albanian 54 Worthing Raiders 17

Referee: Jack Sutton

Scorers: Tries: Gwyther, Richards. Cons: McLean x 2. Pen: McLean

Team: 1.Grant Gatford 2. Jordan Gibson 3. Rhys Litterick 4. Liam Perkins – Captain 5. Jack Lake 6. Will Fowler 7. Freddie Holmes 8. Kiba Richards 9. Henry Anscombe 10. Matt McLean 11. David Langley 12. John Dawe 13. Jack Forrest 14. Harry Forrest 15. Tom Gwyther

Bench: 16. Elliott Luke 17. Sam Cook 25. Tom Adams 19. Dan Peach 20. Will Beer