Raiders 52 Shelford 0
EIGHT tries, six conversions from Sam Whitehead and not a siñgle point conceded.
When ever has a Guernsey 1st XV ever been able to boast a scoreline so impressive and against a dangerous unit like Shelford?
No wonder Jordan Reynolds was eulogizing after the final whistle, although Raiders stay fourth in the London and SE Premier table after all three sides above them won again.
However, the gap between Raiders and table-topping Tring is just three points and they have to come to Footes Lane and, no doubt, face another big crowd, next month.
After the loss at Guildford, Shelford copped a great response from the lads.
‘I don’t think you’d call it a backlash, Shelford have never done anything bad to us,’ said head coach Jordan Reynolds.
‘We had to get our mental game right; we know we can play; we had to get our mentality and enthusiasm into our game.
‘We also needed to get some direction from our back-line, which we probably didn’t have last week. We got both of those today, which was good.
‘We got off well with two tries early doors, which set the tone.
‘When you play a team like this and you don’t get on top of them early, they will start hammering away.
‘They showed at the start of the second half they could but the first try of the second was the one that broke the camel’s back.
The big thing for us is not so much the 52 points but the nil [against].
I wouldn’t think we’ve seen that before, if so it is a pretty rare thing to happen.
Against such a quality outfit shows that we are getting it right.’
Raiders might have been a tad nervous after their blip at Guildford, but they didn't show it and were soon two scores to the good.
In a flying start Robin Le Cocq went over and Whitehead, who enjoyed a cracking game at standoff, slotted over the extras.
Soon after Dale Martin went over in the corner and although Whitehead missed the kick, Raiders had their tails up.
Martin scored his second try before half time and then Douglas Horrocks, restored at No. 8, went over. Both times Whitehead added the extras and Raiders turned around 24-0 to the good.
Horrocks was to finish the game with a hat-trick of scores and it was he who kicked for touch to signal the end of the game.
By then, Cameron Craine and Chris Ahne had also dived over.
Before the end end young Kyle Brown was getting more useful pitch time at scrum half as Malcolm Barnes got a well deserved breather.
Although reluctant to single out individuals, the coach pinpointed the excellence of our new No. 8.
‘I thought Douglas was good and Robin played well, those in the back row really complemented each other today.
‘But I thought Sam Whitehead was outstanding. He really orchestrated what we wanted to have. It didn’t go right all the time but the conditions didn’t always allow for that. But if we hadn’t had that organisation we wouldn’t have have played the rugby we did.’
The result completed a quite remarkable day for Guernsey rugby against U.K. opposition.
By the time Raiders kicked off against Shelford the Vikings we already on their way to a very big win in the Sussex Armada Ale Two.
Very big in fact: 76-0.
The try scorers in that demolition of the outclassed Brighton and Hove Medical Students were Tom Teasdale (2), Dave Haines (2), Tom Rihoy (2), Nico Ashplant, Cashill Cahill, Callum Gladstone, Leon Gardner, Jim Reynard and Bjorn van der Kammen.
Haines landed eight conversions.
LADIES LOSE AT WIMBLEDON
DESPITE a rousing finish and running in five tries, Guernsey Ladies side are still searching for their first win since going up to Championship Two South-West. Deprived of an injured Rachel Merrien, their influential No. 8, they went down to a 68-31 defeat at Wimbledon who led 37-12 at the half-time break. Full report to follow.