BEN DUDLEY signed off his Worthing Raiders Rugby Club career at Roundstone Lane with a 24-17 win over Clifton this afternoon.
The popular 35-year-old fly-half made his final home appearance for Worthing as he is retiring after 12 years of playing for the club.
Worthing took the lead in the National 2 South match after just seven minutes when Kieran Leeming and Matt Miles combined to release Calum Waters and he touched down.
Matt McLean converted to put Raiders 7-0 ahead but Clifton then put Worthing under increasing pressure, although the hosts defended well to keep the visitors out. Finlay Coxon-Smith produced one try-saving tackle in the corner on 25 minutes, before Raiders got their second try seven minutes later.
Ben Loosmore intercepted Daniel Wells’ pass and sprinted through to go over but McLean was unable to add the extras.
Raiders had a couple of opportunities to get a third try but Loosmore was unable to find McLean and Alex Nielsen was then pushed into touch as he burst down the left, before Clifton got a try back with the last play of the half.
They drove forward from a line-out for Rupert Freestone to touch down and Daniel Wells added the extras.
Two tries in as many minutes midway through the second sealed the win for Worthing.
Loosmore went over for his second try on 63 minutes when Waters found him, after Raiders had turned the ball over.
Just two minutes later, Raiders got the four-try bonus point when a flowing move involving Nielsen and Waters was finished off by Jon Whittall under the posts. McLean converted to make the score 24-7.
Clifton responded with a converted try after 70 minutes, before Dudley made his farewell a minute later and he was replaced by Matt Farnes, who made his first Raiders appearance for more than two years following a knee injury.
Raiders had Matt Finney yellow-carded with four minutes left and Clifton got the score back to 24-17 through a Wells penalty with a minute to go as they grabbed a losing bonus point.