Resilient Raiders edge ding-dong

RAIDERS are up to fourth in the fledgling National Two table, but to reach that position they had to brilliantly and bravely defend their line at Shaftesbury Park in Bristol for more than 10 minutes as opposition Dings Crusaders camped on their try line.

Ding-Dong: Dan Morgan punches the air as fellow forward Jacob Pinkney dives in for a try at Shaftesbury Park. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 30001023)
Ding-Dong: Dan Morgan punches the air as fellow forward Jacob Pinkney dives in for a try at Shaftesbury Park. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 30001023)

Ultimately it was Ethan Smith’s late try, converted by Owen Thomas, that clinched the victory, this after three scores from their forwards, all kicked by the stand-off who ended the afternoon with 14 points to his name, including two penalties.

Director of rugby Jordan Reynolds praised his men for their resilience.

‘As much as we are pleased, is that we were relieved,' he said.

'Either side could have won it, but we defended excellently to stop two of Dings' catch and drives and stop the turnover.

‘They were camped inside our five-metre line for the last five minutes.’

Raiders had got off to a great start and after five minutes of their pressure the impressive second rower Oscar Baird powered his way over with four home defenders clinging on to him.

Thomas slotted over the extra two points. Soon afterwards a Dings' penalty offence gave Thomas another chance to add to the Raiders score, but the attempt drifted wide, for his only miss from seven kicks on the day.

A successful catch and drive move got Dings on the scoreboard and a wild Raiders pass let them in for another, this time converted.

Raiders prop Jacob Pinkney got the greens back into the game as he powered his way over the line under the posts and with Thomas converting, Raiders led 14-12, soon to become a five-point lead with another Thomas penalty.

Dings levelled with another try but another Thomas penalty made it 20-17 to the Guernsey side at the interval.

Momentum soon swung back the home side’s way as Raiders were punished for mistakes.

Knock-ons and penalties crept into the Raiders’ game which gifted the Crusaders two tries for a 31-20 lead.

But the game was set for one more decisive swing of fortunes.

Capitalising on a yellow card for a home player, Dan Morgan’s blind side run and pass to Tom Ceillam sent the hooker over for a smart touchdown.

Buoyed by that score, Raiders’ new centre Smith cut a late line with the ball in hand and drifted pass the Crusaders defence for a fine try.

Most Read

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News