Raiders 19 Birmingham & Solihull 28
The inquest on this National 2 South loss continued deep into the night.
For Raiders it was a minor disaster, for the visiting ‘Bees’ a perfect excuse to celebrate a second win of the campaign well into Sunday ‘on tour’ in St Peter Port.
Raiders got what they deserved – nothing.
They led deep into the game but then went to sleep and paid dearly, not only losing the match but in surrendering so meekly failing to pick up even a losing bonus point.
All looked good when Raiders took a sixth minute lead through the tried and tested catch-and-drive line-out.
On the end of the rolling maul was Layton Batiste and Alex Gow added the conversion.
Playing successfully for territory the Bees were initially pinned back inside their own half.
All seemed well until Matt Dight’s brilliant individual break.
The winger sprinted through a gap on halfway and scored in the right-hand corner, to cut the gap to just two points.
The early impetus had been lost and by the interval we were five behind.
Another break produced a three-on-one situation and Ashley Scriven got over the line, with captain Jack Jolly adding the extras.
Raiders were quick to respond when play resumed.
Pressure from the pack saw them in initially held up over the line, but from the resultant scrum Dom Rice dived in next to the posts.
Gow should really have added the extra two points but his kick hit the post and Jolly soon made them pay with a successful penalty kick, the pain of which was inflamed when, soon after, Gow missed a penalty from in front of the posts.
Raiders were tossing the game away but their spirits and that of the Garenne Stand crowd was lifted by a Nick Merrien touch down, which was followed by a successful conversion from Henry Greenhalgh.
Raiders were ahead and just 10 minutes were left to play.
Surely they couldn’t come away with nothing?
Well yes actually,
Jolly cut the margin to a single point after Raiders were caught off side and the fly-half quickly kicked his side ahead after Raiders killed a maul.
Then the killer score, a burst from fullback Venus embarrassing the home defence.
Jolly added a superb conversion and the margin was swelled to nine.
Head coach Jordan Reynolds was disappointed in his side at the final whistle and promised changes for Saturday’s visit to Tonbridge Juddian.
Guernsey Raiders: Steventon, Ceillam, L. Batiste, Hillier, Merrien, Horrocks, Rice, Thomas, Clemett, Morisio, Martin, J. Batiste, Ahne, Sayer, Gow.
Replacements: Anderson, Baron, Craine, Bolton, Greenhalgh.
Birmingham & Solihull: Bingham, Willis, Payne, Spink, Weaver, Krawiecki, Scriven, Brown, O’Sullivan, Jolly, Dight, Tilsley, Kelly, Smith, Venus.
Replacements: Probert, Pearl, Phillips, Cooper, Nunnery.