Chinnor crushing sees Raiders dragged back into survival battle

Worthing Raiders action from earlier this season. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing Raiders action from earlier this season. Picture by Stephen Goodger

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Worthing Raiders were dragged back into the National 2 South survival battle following a crushing 73-14 defeat by high-flying Chinnor at Roundstone Lane this afternoon.

Play-off chasing Chinnor ran in 11 tries on their way to sealing a bonus-point victory, condemning Raiders to a third successive loss.

Having started the day fifth-bottom - five points clear of two-places below London Irish Wild Geese in the final relegation position - Worthing's defeat, coupled with wins for Barnstaple, Wild Geese and Barnes, resulted in Raiders dropping a place to 13th in standings with two games to go.

The cushion between themselves and third-bottom London Irish Wild Geese is now just a point, while 15th-placed Barnes are just a point worse off, with teams around Raiders capitalising on their loss.

Promotion-chasers Chinnor started fast and had the win all but secured inside the opening half-hour.

Converted tries from Benjamin Manning, Koree Britton and Luke Hibberd, all inside the opening ten minutes, helped them open up a 21-0 advantage.

A testing first half-hour was then complete with Grant Gatford sent to the sin-bin for a high-tackle, before South African Kieran Goss ensured a bonus-point fourth try.

Chinnor were reduced to 14-men seven minutes prior to the interval, which sparked a late Raiders surge. Both Joe Watson-Brooks and Grant Gatford saw tries converted as Raiders reduced the deficit to 26-14 at the break.

Just as in the opening 40 minutes, the travelling side were quick out the blocks in the second. Any hopes Raiders had of staging an unlikely comeback were dashed with tries from Goss - his second of the day - and Benjamin Pienaar coming before 50 minutes were up.

It was a case of damage limitation as Worthing trailed 40-14 with 30 minutes left to play. Chinnor showcased their class in the closing stages, though, running in a further 33 points before the full-time whistle.

Goss completed his hat-trick, while Charles Broughton, Bevon Armitage - brother of England international Steffon - Britton once again and replacement Basil Strang all went over as Raiders were beaten 73-14.

Worthing are without a game next Saturday but return to action to following week for a crucial trip to seventh-placed Redingensians Rams.

RAIDERS: Storer, Watson-Brooks, Finney, Gatford, Lake, Whittall, Hewick, Cleveland; Peach, Dobson, Paddenburg, Coxon-Smith, Leeming, Boyland, McLean. Replacements: Grief, Adams, Lee, Harris, Double.

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