Raiders RL 35 20 Nottingham Outlaws
SECOND placed Nottingham Outlaws made their longest journey of the season on Saturday with a four-hour coach trip down to west Wales to face an in-form Raiders RL side at Llanelli. In a hard fought game the Outlaws matched their Welsh counterparts for most of the game but a crucial ten minute spell just before half time that saw the Outlaws concede three converted trys proved to be the difference as they succumbed to 35-20 defeat.
The Outlaws went into the match with a squad containing no fewer than nine changes to the side that racked up a record score against Oxford the previous week. The major re-shuffle saw first team debuts for Matt Nixon and Dan Wilson who took up two of the interchange spots whilst Adam Cunliffe moved up to scrum half to partner the returning Alex Whittle.
Despite the changes it didn’t take long for the Outlaw’s to put themselves on the scoreboard with Jon Christie scoring in the corner, the try went unconverted.
It took a further 15 minutes before Raiders captain and stalwart Alan Pope forced himself over the line and Shane Edwards notched the conversion.
Nottingham again found gaps in the Raiders defence and with a well worked move saw Alex Whittle score to the right hand of the posts, Adam Cunliffe converting. The Raiders found themselves with an overlap immediately after kick off as pivot Shane Lee and second row Morgan Jeffereries created a gap for debutant winger Curtis Ford to outstrip his winger, flat foot the full back and score in the corner, Nathan Beck converted from far out.
It seemed again almost immediately from the kick off the Raiders hit the Nottingham right hand flank and centre Dan Fox got over the line for a much needed try, Nathan Beck converted again.
Nottingham stepped up a gear and proved hard to break through with them being very technical in the tackle area slowing the Raiders quick ball option right down, however on 35 minutes winger Curtis Ford side stepped the Nottingham centre, sent the full back the wrong way and scored another try under the posts.
Nottingham did push hard and nearly scored under the posts but the Raiders defence held out and the ref blew for a much-needed half time break.
In the second half the Raiders came out with renewed vigour, a clever move culminated in the Raiders full back Nath Beck finding a gap and Curtis
Ford following up and scoring his hat trick in the corner.
With the score at 28-10 it seemed that the Raiders were in the ascendency however a try on 50 minutes by Nottingham’s Jimmy Goodwin put Raiders on the back foot, the try was unconverted. Nottingham built pressure and again broke through a lacklustre Raiders defence with Adam Cunliffe converting his own try.
It needed something special for the Raiders to pull clear of the Outlaws and that came in the form of debutant winger Curtis Ford scoring his 4th try of the day in spectacular fashion and converting his own try.
The game was put to bed when pivot Shane Lee dropped a goal on the 77th minute mark allowing the Raiders to hold out against a determined Nottingham outfit until the final whistle.
Despite victory Raiders coach Jon Ellis was not pleased with some aspects and commented: “We made really hard work of this game, Rugby League is a game of 80 minutes of none stop graft, we played some dumb rugby and gave Nottingham too much respect, although we got the win and the game was great for the spectators we need to be more technical and ruthless in all areas of the game.
“We did however find some gems of players today and we are looking forward to playing Leicester away next week.”
Raiders well beaten by Town
By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
WORKINGTON Town eased to a 58-12 over West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 8) with their ten tries all coming from different players.
The away side did enough to win the game despite their many errors that would cost them a lot more against a higher placed side.
Town took an early lead after Gordon Maulding found a gaping hole in the Raiders’ backline and easily ran 10 metres to score. Carl Forber converted.
From kick-off, they doubled the score. No Raiders’ player had the answer to Fui Fui Moi Moi’s strength as he burst past the back-line. No issues again for Forber.
A short kick-off worked well for Raiders as they regained possession from kick-off and they nearly scored. Steve Parry was held a metre from the line on the final tackle of the set.
As frustrations started to boil over, the referee stopped his watch on 25 minutes to give Raiders a team warning for persistent offending, and now was the time for Town to take advantage. Stevie Scholey was close, but from the next tackle, Sean Penkywicz dived over. Forber converted.
Town scored their fourth on the half hour. Perry Singleton was on the end of a good passing move, straight from a scrum on Raiders’ ten-metre line. Forber’s kick was just wide.
Then just before half-time, after winning a penalty on Raiders’ 40-metre line, Stevie Scholey ran through for Workington’s fifth. Forber converted again for a 28-0 lead at the break.
Town had an early second half try chalked off for a forward pass but after Raiders gave away a penalty for off-side, Ryan Fieldhouse twisted his way over the line for a try that Forber improved.
Then on 51 minutes, Raiders finally broke their duck for what was the best try of the game. Phil Cowburn broke from the half-way line, offloaded to Ashley Bateman who lost the ball under pressure, but Cowburn was on hand to pick up the loose ball, score under the sticks and convert his own try.
However, following another Raiders dropped ball and a penalty from the next tackle, Workington addressed the balance as Declan O’Donnell crashed over underneath the sticks and Forber easily converted.
From kick-off, a Welshman finally got on the scoresheet after Sam Hopkins catching his own chip and run to the line for Town’s eighth try.
Forber kicked the goal, then set up the next try, opening up a gap for Oliver Wilkes to celebrate his 100th career try. Forber converted.
Raiders weren’t giving up. They won another goal-line drop out and continued to put on the pressure. Steve Parry was held up over the line and from the next tackle, Morgan Evans ran through a hole in the Town defence. Cowburn converted.
But after Town won the ball from kick-off, they went over from their tenth and final try of the afternoon as debutant Blain Marwood eased his way past the tiring home defence with his first touch of the ball for the club after another good Forber offload.
The man of the match converted to cement the win.
Llangennech seconds beaten
LLANGENECH Seconds were beaten by five wickets by Pontardawe on Saturday (Jun 8).
They batted first after Pontardawe elected to field but they could only manage a score of 114-8 from their 40 overs.
Llangennech soon found themselves struggling on 22-3 after Michael and Robert Lloyd and David James fell to the bowling of Jeff Hapgood (2) and Jason Rourke (1).
Iwan Hicks and Rhys Howells shared 56 runs for the fourth wicket but that came to an end when Howells was run out by Daniel McCudden on a score of 24.
Hicks and Lloyd Francis shared another 28 runs for the fifth wicket but Lloyd Jenkins struck to remove Francis on a score of 10.
Jenkins then also took the wicket of Owain Soady-Jackson for a duck as they slipped to 108-6.
That soon became 109-7 as Hicks, who hit four fours in a good knock of 51, was caught by Rourke off the bowling of Jenkins.
Andy Megrath was later run out as Llangennech limped to 114-8.
Llangnnech struck early in Pontardawe’s reply as the looked to put the pressure on.
Nathan Lewis had opener Sean Harris caught by Iwan Hicks on a score of 10.
Fellow opener Daniel McCudden fell for the same score when he was also caught by Hicks off the bowling of Lloyd Francis.
Nathan Dinsley made a score of 21 but he was then bowled by Llyr Soady-Jackson.
Iwan Hicks then had Lloyd Jenkins caught by Lewis as they reduced Pontardawe to 87-4.
That became 93-5 as Richard Felton, who had scored 23, was bowled by Hicks.
That was as good as it got for Llangennech however, as Mark Williams and Jeff Hapgood saw Pontardawe home with the latter not out on 15.
Dafen edged out by Maesteg
DAFEN suffered defeat against Maesteg Celtic on Saturday (Jun 8), as they were bowled out 19 runs short of victory.
The home side had elected to field on winning the toss and that looked to have been a good decision as they bowled Celtic out for 118.
However, six wickets from Matthew Davies helped them bowl Dafen out for 101 to earn victory for the visitors.
Maesteg lost opener Davies early on as he was bowled by David Dunfee who then also had Nick Poole caught by Philip George on a score of 23.
Dunfee then also had James Richards caught by Matthew Evans before Paul Morris was run out by Christopher Davies.
That left the Celtic on 40-4 but a stand of 42 between Ellis Bird and Morgan Griffiths took them towards three figures.
Bird was then trapped leg before by Jonathan Randell who then also had Jordan Richards caught by Simon Davies.
That saw the visitors slip to 85-6 but Griffiths shared a stand of 25 with Glen Lawler.
Griffiths had hit six fours and a six in his knock of 59 but he was then caught by Kai Rees off the bowling of Chris Hudson.
Elliot Colston was then removed in the same manner before Lawler was bowled by Matthew Donoghue on a score of 13.
Hudson then had Adam Lawler caught by Christopher Davies as Maesteg’s innings came to an end.
At the halfway stage Dafen would have been confident of victory but Maesteg bowled well as they reduced the home side to 33-5 in their reply.
Opener Jonathan Randell was out to the bowling of Matthew Davies as was Aman Gandhi for a duck.
Matthew Evans made ten before he was bowled by Adam Lawler before David Dunfee was bowled by Davies for another duck.
Christopher Davies did make 14 but he was caught by Luke Wilson off the bowling of Lawler.
Matthew Donoghue and Simon Davies looked to stop the flow of wickets and they shared a good stand worth 64 runs.
Davies hit six fours in his score of 38 but he was then caught by Morgan Griffiths off the bowling of namesake Matthew.
Maesteg made light work of the tail as Phillip George was out to Davies and Donoghue was caught by Lawler off the bowling of brother Glen on a score of 24.
Davies then claimed his sixth wicket as he trapped Kai Rees leg before for a duck.
Chris Hudson was also out for a duck to the bowling of Wilson as Dafen’s inning came to a close with them all out on 101.
On Saturday (Jun 15), Dafen will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Division 1 leaders Cowbridge.
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