Thomas holds his nerve
RAIDERS enjoyed a wonderful case of deja vu on Saturday as Owen Thomas slotted over the last kick of the game for the second week running to make it back-to-back wins.
This time around it was a penalty from in front of the posts that the Guernsey fly-half converted with time having elapsed to win 16-14 away at Clifton on a wet and windy afternoon in Bristol.
‘Clifton had a 22 drop-out, which would have been the last play of the game, but they kicked it out on the full so we had a scrum and ran a couple of phases off that before winning a penalty right in front of the posts, so it was a pretty easy kick for Owen,’ said Guernsey coach Jordan Reynolds.
‘When we went behind [14-13] with five minutes to go, we thought that if we could get possession back, we just needed a penalty.
‘As much as you look at it like “not again” when you think you are going to lose a tight game, there was definitely more optimism on the sideline even when we went behind and we worked really hard to get that opportunity in the last five minutes.
‘It was one of those games where either side could have won it, but in those last five minutes we wanted it more.’
Clifton had gone ahead with a converted try early in the match before Anthony Armstrong replied with a try for Raiders before Thomas edged them ahead with a successful penalty.
George Shannon extended the lead to six points with another try before the drama of the last five minutes.
Despite the win taking Raiders up to 14th above both Birmingham & Solihull and London Irish Wild Geese in the table, they are still 13 points off safety with the runaway leaders Rams visiting Footes Lane this week.
‘We are definitely not getting carried away,’ Reynolds said.
‘We have enjoyed the two wins, but we are back to the reality of facing Rams next.’