Youth product Harrison Sims marked his first home senior start in style as Worthing Raiders brought an end to another National 2 South campaign at Roundstone Lane on Saturday.
Sims’ try double were just two of the nine Raiders scored on their way to an enthralling 55-41 success over Henley Hawks.
Victory in Worthing’s final home fixture of the season - they’ve still got away games to come at struggling Barnstaple and London Irish Wild Geese - was made all the more impressive after Jack Maslen‘s red card minutes before the break.
Raiders would rack up 35 points in the second half, despite being a man down, to the delight of the home faithful.
Worthing head coach Jody Levett was particularly impressed by the performance of Sims as he made just a second senior appearance for the club.
“There were obviously loads of positives,” Levett said.
“To score nine tries is a real reflection of how we are trying to play in attack.
“It’s nice to see Harrison (Sims) scoring a brace of tries and he is clearly a talented young man, who again has come through the junior section at Worthing. He has a bright future here at Rugby Park. Going down to 14 was disappointing and could have been a seminal moment in the game.
“It would have been easy to capitulate, however, instead the players showed great residence and attitude to go on and win the game, playing 50 minutes a man down.”
Matt McLean (two), David McIlwaine, Jay Ajayi, Kiba Richards, George Harris and Matt Walsh were the other try scorers as Raiders ended their home campaign in style.
The win was a tenth Worthing have managed from 15 at Roundstone Lane across this season, with Levett citing that statistic as another positive.
He added: “Our home form has been pleasing and it is always the cornerstone of a successful season. We have picked up some significant wins and bonus-points at home. “However, it is our away form that will decide successes of future seasons.”
Raiders remained ninth in the table following the win over Henley, closing the gap to their place-above opposition and the top-half to just two points.
And a top-eight finish is something that Levett would like to see his team achieve.
He said: “A top-half finish would be a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.
“We have always said that it is a long-term plan, not a quick fix. There have been a significant number of personal changes across the two seasons. We brought in eight new players this year and they have clearly settled in well and we are now in the process of building on this for next year.”