NORTH East Worcestershire Ravens picked up their best result of the season as they drew 44-44 with Coventry Bears in the Midlands Rugby League Premier.
Ravens had looked on course for their first win of the season as they went into the final 20 minutes with a 44-26 advantage, only to suffered a late Bears fight back.
Coventry had got off to a strong start as they scored the first two tries but Will Baillon responded with a touch down of his own.
Both teams tightened up their defences but Coventry saw a gap and ran in another try.
But Ravens were quick to hit back with a breakaway score by Will Greenwood and conversion by Dave Wimbury.
Baillon bagged the host’s third try but Bears ensured a narrow 16-14 half-time lead with a try under the posts.
The home team hit back with gusto and James Pritchard crossed the scoreline for a try, while Dave Wimbury converted.
Only three minutes, later Coventry hit back with two quick tries.
Ravens thought they had sealed victory as they scored the next four scores.
Ryan Banner, who is on loan from North Derbyshire Chargers, touched down and Wimbury added the extras, debutant Dan Thomas pounced on a rebound to score under the goal, allowing for an easy conversion.
Banner bagged two more converted efforts, once again finished off by Wimbury’s reliable boot, to hand them a commanding lead.
But in a game where the lead had changed hands on several occasions, Coventry hit back and punished the host’s lack of concentration, bagging three converted scores, with the final coming in the last two minutes of the game.
Ravens entertain Telford Raiders at home on Saturday (2.30pm ko).
Head coach Jason Spafford said: “This game was a massive step forward for Ravens especially matching Coventry Bears on the pitch with the players they had turn out as well.
“We would especially like to thank our hat-trick scorer Ryan Banner who is on loan from North Derbyshire Chargers and made the 70-mile trip for a home game.
“He also demonstrated some fantastic qualities in defence and has done very well.”
l Meanwhile, the club’s U12s hosted a triangular festival between themselves, Nottingham Outlaws and Leicester Storm.
Special mention should be made of the sportsman like attitude of all U12 players who all loaned players between teams to cover for injuries.
Ravens will be holding a family fun day on Sunday, August 10 for Redditch Heart Safe.