Oldham 48 London Skolars 6

Skolars continued their struggles with a nine try defeat at Whitebank. Lost possession and several kicks going straight out into touch meant they were often on the back foot against an Oldham side that is top of the league.

After George Tyson had opened the scoring for the home side, Marcus Elliott, on loan from Hunslet Hawks made a mazy run from deep, but Skolars struggled to make yards attacking up the slope. They defended well for large periods of the first half, but tries for Liam Thompson and Jon Ford, on loan from Salford, put Oldham 18 nil up at the break.

Skolars might have hoped to use the advantage of playing down the slope in the second half, but Oldham pinned them close to their own line. Phil Joy strolled through a gap to score after a drop out and another drop out soon afterwards saw Tyson score his second try.

Skolars kept working in defence with both Elliott and Small making try saving tackles out wide, but when Skolars got possession they lost it early in the tackle count and Ford scored his second try down the right wing.

Small was sin-binned for a high tackle and Oldham scored three tries in five minutes, Ford finishing with four tries, Lewis Palfrey kicking six conversions in all.

The last minute of the game saw Vince Spurr chase his own chip kick, forcing the Oldham full-back to fumble the ball. Spurr scooped up the ball to race to the tryline for a welcome consolation try, with Sam Druce adding the conversion as the final hooter sounded.

20 Tom Dempsey
4 Steven Neild
17 George Tyson
9 Sam Gee
23 Jon Ford
7 Steven Roper
6 Lewis Palfrey
10 Adam Neal
15 Gareth Owen
8 Phil Joy
11 Josh Crowley
12 Danny Langtree
22 Liam Thompson

Subs (all used)
14 Adam Files
16 Kenny Hughes
22 Nathan Mason
18 Richard Joy

Tries: Tyson (3,51), Thompson (25), Ford (33,64,71,73), Joy (44), Dempsey (76)
Goals: Palfrey 6/9

1 Matt Cook
2 Jimmy Morgan
3 Mike Benson
4 Aaron Small
5 Marcus Elliott
6 Vince Spurr
7 Sam Druce
10 David Williams

9 Joel Wicks
16 Dion Chapman
11 Harvey Burnett
12 Will Lovell
19 Will Fairhurst

Subs (all used)
8 Michael Sykes
14 Anthony Cox
15 Olly Bloom
17 Cariern Clement-Pascall

Tries: Spurr (80)
Goals: Druce 1/1
Sin-bin: Small (71) – high tackle

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 24-0, 30-0. 34-0, 40-0, 44-0, 48-0, 48-6

Penalty count: 5-3
Half-time: 18-0
Referee: Adam Gill
Attendance: 423

This weekend saw the quarter finals of the London RL Junior League Cup take place, our young Skolars U13’s were pitted against Richmond Warriors, who in the close season joined forces with Staines Titans, so a tough match was expected down in Twickenham.

All players and coaching staff arrived eager to get the victory, Richmond were short of a few players and the Skolars duly provided our opposition with some bodies to fill the gaps in their team. A tough loss away to Brentwood last weekend seemed to inspire the Skolars in the first quarter as they took the lead in what was a physical game. Skolars began to really tighten their grip on the game through some great runs out wide, but just as Skolars thought the game might have been won, the Warriors found a real second wind and the home side came bursting back with enthusiasm. The game began to swing end to end and there were some very nervous times for our boys from North London. The game was a great advert for the London Junior League in the heart of Union territory.

The Skolars power in the forward pack began to take it’s toll on the tiring Richmond boys however and the boys from N22 finally got over the finish line as the final whistle ended, to reach the Semi-Final of the London Junior League Cup, where they face Brentwood Eels at home on May 9th, they are joined by our U17’s who will face newcomers Bromley Bengals in what will be a double header of Cup Rugby League.

Before that fixture all 3 of our Junior teams are back in action this weekend, the U15’s travel the long distance to Southend, whilst the U13’s and U17’s kickstart a weekend of Rugby League at New River. The U17’s face a strong challenge from the visiting Medway Dragons whilst the U13’s look forward to mixing it with our close rivals Hemel Hempstead Stags RLFC U13s. The U13’s will kick off at 10.30 whilst the U17’s will kick off at 11.30 on the Perth Road pitches. All support is welcome.

Jon Ford scored four tries as Oldham maintained their perfect start to the Kingstone Press League 1 season with a 48-6 victory over London Skolars.

George Tyson, Liam Thompson and Ford went over for tries in the first period with Lewis Palfrey converting all three to send the leaders into the interval 18-0 up.

And it was more of the same after the break as Ford ran in another three tries, while there were also scores for Tyson, Richard Joy and Tom Dempsey and Palfrey took his goal tally to six.

Vincent Spurr went over in the final minute for a consolation Skolars score. Sam Druce added the extras.

Full match report to follow

London Skolars are delighted to announce the signing of exciting pivot Michael Bishay for the 2015 season. Bishay, who in the winter off season left London Bronco’s for pastures new in Queensland, Australia with the Norths Devil’s has decided to return home early. Bishay grew frustrated at seeing his appearances at first grade restricted, though this was through no fault of his own or any slight on his ability- the Devils are the feeder club to the Brisbane Broncos of the NRL, whose players are prioritised when provided weekly.

Mikey, aged 22, was born and raised in Staines, where he played his junior rugby league at the West London Sharks, from there he joined London Broncos (then known as Harlequins RL) where he excelled, appearing for the England RL side at junior level. He was promoted to the first team and made his debut for the club in June 2013 in a 30 all thrilling comeback draw against Castleford Tigers, he went on to make around 20 more appearances for the Super league side, scoring 2 tries.

He will be familiar to many of the London Skolars faithful who care to reminisce, playing a host of times for the club, most notably at hooker in our Northern Rail Bowl finalist side, where he impressed with his trademark leadership abilities, good distribution and strong kicking game, as demonstrated by the 40/20 he kicked.
Those excited to see him in action again can possibly see him make his debut as he returns from his excursion next week and will be available for the home game against Keighley Cougars.

In other selection related news, Coach Jermaine Coleman will be boosted by the availability of utility back Marcus Elliott on loan from the Hunslet Hawks for this weekend’s game away at Oldham RLFC. Elliott, aged 21, arrives at the club with an exceptionally impressive pedigree. He began his junior career at the Leeds Rhinos, before moving on to the Bradford Bulls in 2011 on a two year contract, at the end of that deal his then junior coach at Bradford, Glenn Morrison took him to Dewsbury, before eventually settling himself at his current club where he has made one appearance this season- against University of Gloucestershire All Golds in the challenge cup.

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