WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club finished their season with a comfortable win away to Old Elthamians on Saturday.
From the first scrum after 15 seconds, the Raiders pack clearly set their stall out by pushing Old Elthamians off the ball with a huge drive to turn the ball over and the set piece dominance continued throughout the game.
However, Old Elthamians played the most threatening rugby in the opening minutes, while Raiders were guilty of careless mistakes at vital moments.
The hosts opened the scoring through a Kristian Cook penalty in the ninth minute and increased their lead through another Cook penalty on 20 minutes.
Raiders finally got on the scoreboard after 30 minutes when Liam Perkins caught the ball cleanly in the line-out and the maul that formed steamrolled over the line from eight metres out, with Sam Hewick touching down. Matt McLean added the extras to put Worthing 7-6 ahead.
Raiders went further ahead just before half-time when Joe Marchant sprinted from 60 metres out to touch down, after a huge drive from the pack from an Old Elthamians scrum ten metres from Worthing’s line.
McLean’s conversion gave Raiders a 14-6 half-time lead.
Worthing started the second half with much more purpose but were unable to convert it into points in the opening 15 minutes.
Eventually, the pressure paid off when Worthing turned over another scrum and, following some powerful driving by the forwards and backs, Dan Sargent went over with McLean converting.
Raiders got the four-try bonus point on 68 minutes with a superb try from Marchant. He caught the ball just short of the halfway line, side-stepped two players and burst through to touch down, with McLean again adding the extras.
Old Elthamians then upped their game and Jonathan Webber scored a well-worked try in the corner, before James Golledge went over and Cook converted five minutes later.
Raiders responded with a training ground try from a line-out when Scott Barlow caught the ball at the front and offloaded to Jamie Redmayne, who drove over from eight metres out and McLean again converted.
Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson said: “It was a good performance again and it was nice to finish the season on a good note.
“We had lost to them in the opening game of the season and that defeat put us on the back foot for the rest of the season.
“Everyone is looking forward to pre-season now and getting started again to rectify the mistakes of this season.”
RAIDERS: Storer, Miles, Sargent, Barlow, McGowan, Redmayne, Hewick, Perkins, Waters, Leeming, Marchant, Coxon-Smith, Loosmore, Greenwood, McLean. Subs: Walker, Whittall, South, Dudley, Luke.