Guildford 33 Raiders 22
By Katie Daunt
SO THE Guildford bogey is alive and well
Doesn’t Jordan Reynolds know it and our head coach would not have been a happy man after seeing his table-topping squad knocked off top spot by a team lying 10th.
Not even a bonus point.
The end result was that Raiders slip to fourth in the table, Tring having taken over top spot from Barnes in second and Hertford in third.
The pattern was set early on. Raiders gave away a penalty for hands in the ruck and Guildford duly slotted home the kick for a 3-0 lead.
Quickly, Guildford returned the favour conceding a penalty on their 22 and Sam Whitehead stepped up to level the scores.
A drop goal restored Guildford’s lead and it got worse when the home side’s centre drifted over for the first try of the day which went unconverted.
It took Raiders 35 minutes before their attacks finally brought a reward via a catch and drive play.
Raiders drove towards the Guildford line and eventually Cameron Crane was driven over by his pack.
Had it stayed a three-point game at half-time, things might have panned out differently.
But with the half petering out a Raiders knock-on gave Guildford an opportunity to stretch the Guernsey back line.
Vital tackles were missed and Guildford celebrated a converted try for an 18-8 interval lead.
For the second half Raiders reshuffled the back line to allow for Douglas Horrocks to revert to his favoured No 8 position.
Both teams struggled to make any headway but on 15min. and after two successive catch and drives Horrocks sliced his way unopposed under the posts for a try converted by Whitehead.
Raiders looked right back in it, but straight from the kick off they failed to control the ball from their own lineout and Guildford’s pack drove over for a converted try.
More poor defending saw Guildford stretch their advantage to 30-15, but there was a hint of a revival when the forwards and backs combined well for Anthony Armstrong to fly in at the corner.
A good conversion from Whitehead pegged it back to 22-30.
Frustratingly, Raiders then gave away another sloppy penalty for hand in the ruck and Guildford kicked the resulting gift for a further three points.