West Wales Raiders 22 Workington Town 36

Workington Town ran it close on Saturday when they were chased by West Wales Raiders all the way during their 36-22 victory at Stebonheath Park.

The team survived a lengthy 12-hour journey down to Llanelli which ended in the early hours of Saturday morning, but they shrugged off their struggles to reach the ground to clinch a hard-fought win.

The victory was boosted by a late converted try and penalty, with all of those points coming from star man Carl Forber, who completed a hat-trick of tries in the process.

The final penalty was kicked for a reason – not just to help improve points difference, but it gave Forber his 1,000th career goal.

West Wales Raiders can no longer be taken lightly. Seven days earlier, they received credit for arguably their best ever performance in the semi-professional ranks as they earned a draw against Doncaster. This week it was again anyone’s game, with the result in doubt right up until the last five minutes.

In fact, had a few errors not been made and some 50-50 calls gone their way, it was a game that Raiders could have won.

As it was, Town, who fielded debutants Zac Olstrom and David Weetman, will make the long journey home knowing that they’ve been in a game.

And it actually took a Welshman to give Town the lead. Calvin Wellington, who grew up half an hour down the road in Port Talbot with his cousin Regan Grace, opened the scoring on three minutes in the corner following a goal-line drop-out. Carl Forber missed the conversion.

Following a penalty, West Wales hit straight back when Alan Pope powered over. Ramsey converted in front of the sticks.

After 13 minutes, Town scored again with Forber scoring and converting the first of his three tries.

In this topsy turvy encounter, Raiders hit back again through Steve Parry under the sticks to bring the score level at 10-10, with Ramsey missing the conversion.

But from kick-off, Raiders knocked on and Town’s Lee Postlethwaite took advantage and scored. Forber converted again.

In the next set, Forber received the ball after an excellent team move and grounded under the sticks. He was then in a position to convert his own try. That made it 22-10 to Town, a lead built directly from that first West Wales error.

However Raiders’ Jamie Murphy hit back immediately from the restart after a basic knock on error from Town and expertly kicked a high ball and scored to capitalise. Ramsey’s attempt gave them the extras to put them just a converted try down at the break.

Murphy opened Raiders’ second half tally on 54 minutes with a superb high kick and burst through to score. Again, Ramsey’s boot was successful to level the scores in at 22-all.

Workington hit back almost instantly where Declan O’Donnell grounded under the sticks. Forber converted before sealing the win with a try with just five minutes remaining.

He converted again before adding that 1,000th career goal on the hooter.

STAR MAN: Carl Forber.

RAIDERS: 1 Phil Cowburn, 21 Aedan Coleman, 15 Ashley Bateman, 5 Dai Evans, 22 Michael Holden. 31 Will Ramsey, 33 Jamie Murphy, 19 Alan Pope, 24 Steven Parry, 29 Osian Phillips, 18 Charley Bodman, 2 Craig Lewis, 30 Callum Mulkeen. Subs (all used): 9 Dafydd Phillips, 10 Harry Boots, 20 Shaun Tennant, 25 Jack Uren.

Tries: Pope (11), Parry (22), Jamie Murphy (30, 55). Goals: Ramsey 3/4

TOWN: 2 Brad Holroyd, 28 Lee Postlethwaite, 31 Jo Brown, 4 Calvin Wellington, 6 Zac Olstrom, 7 Jamie Doran, 8 Carl Forber, 9 Conor Fitzimmons, 32 Declan O’Donnell, 36 David Weetman, 16 Jacob Moore, 12 Caine Barnes, 13 Haley Dawson. Subs (all used): 23 Mathew Henson, 33 Rhys Clarke, 11 Perry Singleton, 17 Ryan Wilson.

Tries: Wellington (3), Forber (14, 28, 75), Postlethwaite (24), O’Donnell (59). Goals: Forber 6/7

Half-time: 16-22

Referee: Kevin Moore. Crowd: 239.