A STORY OF MISSED CHANCES
By Katie Daunt
Birmingham & Solihull 39 Raiders 10
RAIDERS struck rock bottom again in terms of National Two South standings with this defeat in the Midlands.
But, we were far from producing a rock-bottom performance.
For a short while, all looked good for a possible away win, but once the ‘Bees’ found their form and Raiders failed to register numerous scoring catch and drive chances, there was no holding them.
After an early Jack Jolly penalty put the home team ahead, Raiders responded with a superb try from Daley Aremu.
Owen Thomas missed the conversion as he did for both tries that afternoon.
Daley Aremu finished off the first try of the game after Guernsey worked through several phases then pushed the ball out wide.
Soon after prop Patrick Schickerling powered his way through a couple of tacklers to touch down and make it 10-3.
Then Bees got going.
Harry O’Brien went over to narrow the gap to two and Matt Dight’s converted third score by Jolly, made it 15-10.
Matt Spink was next to go over the whitewash for a 20-10 half-time lead for the side that had started the day bottom of the table.
The Bees handicapped themselves with a yellow card for Matt Probert early on in the second, but it did not stop them adding to their advantage.
Matt Dight went over again for a Jolly converted score and Dight completed his hat-trick to make it 34-10.
The game was now well gone for Raiders and late on Zane Raimondi also went over to complete the scoring.
The 29-point margin did not do justice to Raiders’ efforts argued coach Jordan Reynolds, who bemoaned a succession of missed lineouts close to the line.
‘Whether it was through all the enforced changes and people not knowing the calls, I don’t know, but it cost us.’
By half-time, though, the Bees were 20-10 ahead thanks to tries from Harry O’Brien, Matt Dight and Matt Spink.
Reynolds saw the loss as a missed opportunity.
‘We had probably 10-15 line-outs inside their 22 and probably hit only three.’
There were some shafts of sunshine to emerge, not least the performance of young scrum half Tom Teasdale, while Reynolds was also thankful to have Schickerling.
Reynolds was very impressed and the good news is that he is likely to feature at home against Tonbridge Juddian this weekend.
‘He is a solid player and we managed to get both him and Layts through the 80 minutes.
‘He’s a powerful boy and there is talk of him helping us out again this week. We are happy and they [Exeter] are happy which is great.
‘In scoring his try he had to get through two people, which he did with ease.’
Meanwhile, Teasdale was a revelation at scrum half.
‘I thought he played really well and I have to be honest I hadn’t considered him as a 9 and I still believe he’s a better fly half or full back, but I am impressed after we had to throw him in at the deep end.
‘Another young guy coming through the ranks, which is great.’