London Skolars 32 Gateshead Thunder 32

After going to behind to a Jason Payne converted try on 12 minutes Skolars ran in five tries to take a 26-6 lead into the break. However, Gateshead hit back strongly in the second half, scoring 26 unanswered poiints to lead 26-32 with only nine minutes left. A 76th minute Gareth Honor try, converted by Jack Latus, saved the day for Skolars who had to content themselves with a 32-32 draw and two points.

Full match report to follow . . .

Agony for Skolars as they nearly pulled off their first league victory of the season, but with less than two minutes to go Austen Aggrey lost the ball on the line in the midst of several defending Scorpions at The Gnoll. It was close for most of the game with the first points only coming in the 33rd minute, although Skolars had several chances early on. Jason Cook was bundled into touch close to the line, soon followed by Jarloslaw Obuchowski losing the ball just before the line.

South Wales also went close with Dalton Grant (no relation to the former New River athlete) being held up, but when Dave McMeeken put in a huge hit to gain possession for Skolars it looked like the first half might go scoreless. However, the Scorpions scored two tries late on to give them a 10 point lead. Andrew Gay jinked through to score under the posts. Then they forced a drop out and Harri Greville pass put through Ashley Bateman.

Quick off loading by the home side saw Grant score his first try soon after the restart. Skolars then started to mount a comeback. John Paxton, in his first game for the club this season, was held up over the line, but that field position led to Dave McMeeken barging over to score, Jack Latus adding the conversion. South Wales kicked into touch from the kick-off and there was almost a repeat, with McMeeken just being denied a second as he was held up over the line.

Dylan Skee’s kick crossfield saw James Simon touchdown but the try was disallowed for an offside. The Scorpions extended their lead when a Hywel Davies break provided Grant with his second try, Jamie Murphy added what turned out to be a crucial conversion.

With 12 minutes remaining, Austen Aggrey finished off a Skee break to record his 50th try for the club. He was held up over the line with five minutes to go, but soon afterwards Carien Clement-Pascall dived through the defence to score, but had to leave the field immediately with an injury. Latus added his third conversion to leave Skolars two points behind with two minutes remaining. Skolars attacked again, but the Scorpions defence held out the onslaught to the delight of the Neath faithful.

27 James Murphy
26 Lee Williams
4 Ashley Bateman
3 Chrstian Roets
24 Dalton Grant
1 Andrew Gay
12 Loz Wildbore
16 Joe Burke
9 Steve Parry
20 Hywel Davies
10 Paul Raftery
17 Harri Greville
11 Lewis Mills

Subs (all used)
14 Tom Burnell
15 Neil Dallimore
8 Semisi Cocker
18 Chris Davies

Tries: Gay (33), Bateman (36), Grant (47,63)
Goals: Murphy 2/4

30 John Paxton
31 Jack Latus
17 Dave Arnot
14 Jason Cook
5 Ade Adebisi
6 Jy-Mel Coleman
7 Dylan Skee
25 Austen Aggrey
9 Gareth Honor
16 James Simon
33 Jaroslaw Obuchowski
15 Olly Purslow
32 Sam Gee

Subs (all used)
35 Cariern Clement-Pascall
24 Dave McMeeken
24 Michael Sykes
21 Danny Burke

Tries: McMeeken (52), Aggrey (68), Clement-Pascall (77)
Goals: Latus 3/3

Penalty count: 9-8

Half-time: 10-0
Referee: Matthew Kidd

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 10-0, 14-0, 14-6, 20-6, 20-12, 20-18

Co-operative Championship 1

After a spectacular start Skolars had a nightmare first half against Oldham ahead of the busy Easter weekend.

Skolars won a scrum from the kick-off after an Oldham error. Jy-Mel Coleman’s pass found Dave Arnot, who touched down after just 53 seconds, which we believe is Skolars’ fastest ever try. However, the Roughyeds went into the lead 5 minutes later through Mick Diveney and added another when Neil Roden’s kick found Shaun Robinson with space in the corner.

Jy-Mel Coleman was again involved in Skolars’ next try, his kick was fumbled by Oldham and Jason Hart followed up to win the ball. Quick passing found Ade Adebisi on the wing for him to score his 11th try in 11 games.

Then came a disasterous 14 minures spell where Oldham scored six tries, with Skolars rarely gaining possession. Jason Boults opened up the defence from 20 metres out, soon followed by Paul Noone following up a bouncing kick. Lucas Onyango scored down the right hand side, with Neil Roden then scoring his 100th try for Oldham. There was a suspicion of a forward pass in the run-up to Shaun Robinson’s try, but there was no doubt about Mark Brocklebank’s try just before half-time, which put the Roughyeds 42-8 up at half-time.

Things didn’t get better at the start of the second half, with Austen Aggrey losing control of the ball in the tackle as he went for the tryline, the home side moved downfield and Diveney added his second try.

Whilst talk around the professional leagues has been about high penalty counts, it took until the 46th minute for either side to concede a penalty, with referee Chris Leatherbarrow awarding just three apiece in the whole game.

Aggrey missed out again on what would have been his 50th try for the club when he was held up, but soon afterwards Cariern Clement-Pascall went over for his first try for Skolars. Lucas Onyango found a gap on the wing for his second try for Oldham to notch up the half century with Diveney kicking his sixth conversion.

Despite the scoreline Skolars weren’t giving up and a break by Gareth Honor saw Clement-Pascall make a curving run to the line for his second try, before Dylan Skee intercepted an Oldham pass and raced 80 metres to score his first try for the club, Jack Latus kicking his third conversion after Neil Thorman had gone off injured.



21 Mark Brocklehurst

2 Lucas Onyango

26 Matthew Fogarty

3 Marcus St Hillaire

20 Richard Flooks

27 Shaun Robinson

6 Neil Roden

7 Mick Diveney

8 Jason Boults

17 John Clough

14 Chris Clarke

11 Andy Isherwood

24 Paul Noone

25 Martin Roden


Subs (all used)

28 Luke Stenchion

13 Valu Bentley

9 Danny Whitmore

10 Dave Ellison


Tries: Diveney (6,42), Robinson (11,35), Boults (22), Noone (24), Onyango (27,61), N Roden (31), Brocklebank

Goals: Diveney 6/10



1 Neil Thorman

31 Jack Latus

17 Dave Arnot

14 Jason Cook

5 Ade Adebisi

7 Dylan Skee

6 Jy-Mel Coleman

22 Saqib Murtza

9 Gareth Honor

10 Jason Hart

London Skolars ‘A’ went close to beating RLC National outfit Hemel Stags at the newly refurbished Pennine Way.

Sunday’s closely fought encounter finished 22-20 to the home side with Skolars giving Hemel plenty to think about in the pre season build up to both their seasons.

The Skolars outfit are to enter this weekend’s London 9s competition which features teams from all RLC tiers and will provide coach Ronnie Mushiso another chance to run the rule over his charges.

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