Guernsey Raiders were beaten on their return to league action despite a superb second-half performance at Worthing.
Raiders were playing their first competitive match since February 2020 as they marked their return to National 2 South following promotion.
A brilliant second half performance wasn't quite enough for the islanders as they came agonisingly close to overturning a 16 point half time deficit.
The first half was dominated by the hosts who scored two tries on their way to a 16-0 lead at the break.
It looked a long way back for Raiders but they came out fighting in the second period. Two converted tries from Jordan Reynolds' side had them back within two points as the clock ticked beyond 50 minutes.
A Jerome Rudder try eased the nerves for Worthing but Guernsey kept coming. A penalty followed by another try for Raiders put them just one point behind the hosts at 23-22.
Matt Mclean kicked a penalty for Worthing to give them some breathing space with ten minutes to play before Jack Forrest sealed the victory with a converted try in the last play of the game.
Raiders are back on the road again next week when they travel to Rochford Hundred.