More late, late drama
By Katie Daunt
Clifton 14 Raiders 16
We're off the bottom. Two places off it in fact.
A second straight win and again in dramatic circumstances has given Jordan and the boys a shaft of light in the National Two South relegation gloom. The only disappointment came with hearing the other results.
Old Redcliffians had won well and the safety trap door remains several wins away.
Initially, the Raiders suffered a double blow at the start.
From the green and whites kick off which went straight to touch the resulting scrum on half way saw the ever reliant Layton Batiste collapse on his side of the scrum and came off with an injury.
Clifton made it even worse as they backed up the resultant penalty with their backs breaking free for a converted try under the posts: 7-0 and less than 3 minutes on the clock.
The home side continued to attack and only the superb defence of the Raiders kept them at bay.
In particular, the green and whites back row of George Shannon, Douglas Horrocks and Dom Rice shone throughout the game on such a dreary wet day. Horrocks added some outstanding breaks, often shredding through the home defence.
One such run down the blind side from a scrum in the Raiders half sent Anthony Armstrong flying down the touch line, firstly beating one defender then winning the race to fly over in the corner for a fine individual try.
Owen Thomas kicked for the conversion from the sidelines, but hit the post 7-5.
Both sides continued to slog it out in poor conditions and the score had not changed by half time.
On the resumption, Clifton continued to force their way into the Raiders half but the tide started to turn with the Raiders controlling the game and conditions now in their favour.
A penalty given away by the home side after being driven back by the Raiders was duly converted by Owen Thomas and 55 minutes in we were ahead.
Guernsey were now controlling the ball well and a dainty grubber kick through by Owen Thomas over the massive try line “in goal area” paid dividends as the home side failed to cope with the ball and George Shannon pounced to score the Raiders’ second try. Again, Owen Thomas was unable to convert from the sideline and we led 13-7 with 20 minutes left.
Not overly perturbed, Clifton continued to force their way forward and eventually scored under the posts for a converted try and a one point lead with five minutes left on the clock.
But there was one drama to come.
When Clifton were penalised by crossing in the backs Owen Thomas kicked a penalty which looked like going over until the wind pushed it past the wrong side of the post.
Remarkably, though, the resulting 22 kick by the home side, which would have been the final play of the game, went straight out to the disbelief of the home crowd.
A scrum on their 22 followed which then became a penalty to Raiders after a Clifton forward kicked through the ball.
Owen Thomas struck the following penalty in front of the posts and we had sneaked another one-point win.