Telford Raiders leave Leamington empty-handed

Double tryscorer Simon Gardner. Picture: Tim Nunan
Double tryscorer Simon Gardner. Picture: Tim Nunan

Leamington Royals leapfrogged Telford Raiders in the Midlands South table courtesy of a 32-24 success at Acre Close.

A serious ankle injury to a Raiders player just four minutes into the game meant a 50-minute stoppage and, after the restart, it was the home side who took control.

Hooker Simon Gardner followed his own kick through to touch down under the posts, while Matt Cooper stepped the full-back to touch down.

A suspected broken arm robber Raiders of a second player, but undaunted, they hit back with two tries of their own.

Royals introduced Adam Murgatroyd from the bench and he made an instant impact, breaking the tackle and playing the ball quickly for Steve Alford to cross.

The conversion was missed and Raiders replied with a converted try to lead 18-14 at the interval.

The injuries were starting to take their toll on the visitors and they started the second half with the bare 13.

Hard hitting from Luke Dunne and Ian Grime opened up the gaps and loose forward Andrew Morrison took advantage to score under the posts.

Cooper then bulldozed through his marker to touch down, with both scores improved by Gardner.

The Raiders defence was tiring and, with players on the field carrying injuries, Gardner exploited a gap at the ruck to score a try he converted himself to take Royals into a 32-18 lead.

Telford, to their credit, battled all the way to the final whistle and were rewarded with a converted try to cut the deficit to eight points at the final whistle.