Skolars resign rampaging Forward Lamont Bryan

London Skolars are ecstatic to announce the resigning of the big, barraging utility forward Lamont Bryan for the rest of this season.

Lamont, aged 27, has accumulated quite an impressive rugby league CV during his time in the game, he originated at the London Bronco’s (then known as Harlequins RL) where he caught the eye with his typically dynamic performances, primarily as an outside back. These performances were deemed explosive enough to earn him a full time contract with the club. The next step in his meteoric rise, saw him make his professional debut for the club against Leeds in 2008, as his career continued with the London Broncos he went on to make another 32 appearances, although during this time he transitioned into the pack. Whilst with the club, he was also selected to represent a country of his heritage, Jamaica in their unfortunately unsuccessful attempts to qualify for the 2013 rugby league World Cup.

Upon leaving the London Bronco’s in 2012, Lamont then went on to sign for high flying championship side Featherstone Rovers for the 2013 season, known for his strong work ethic and explosive fend, Bryan soon became a fans favourite of the Yorkshire club, leading them to the leagues leaders shield. However at the end of that season he returned, homesick, to London, joining London Skolars (a club he had frequented often on dual registration during his Bronco’s days). Here too he continued to contribute with his consistently high impact performances, although it wasn’t enough to help the club reach the desired play-off spots. Left somewhat disappointed by the clubs under performance in the 2014 season Bryan decided to experience a new culture signing for Racing Lescure in the French elite division 2, arriving a matter of days after the final Skolars game, Lamont was thrust into the French action and he has been playing there since last week, where his team unfortunately lost the divisions grand finale.

The club would like to reiterate they are delighted to welcome Lamont back and are hopeful he can bring some of his experience from being part of numerous professional and successful sides when the club take on newly crowned Ipro Sport Cup champions, North Wales Crusaders this Sunday.

Skolars pushed Barrow hard for the first hour of the game, but four late tries gave the visitors their first away win of the season.

The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for Keighley Cougars’ Danny Jones, who tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest ill during the game at New River a fortnight ago.

The Raiders opened the scoring thanks to a Skolars’ mistake, Cameron Pitman scooping up a loose ball 30 metres out to score down the left flank. Skolars worked well to bundle Chris Hankinson into touch when he went close. They then forced a couple of goal-line drop out, but couldn’t turn the possession into points. Barrow counterattacked with hard- running prop Andrew Dawson forcing his way over the try-line.

Skolars then kicked off straight into touch, conceded a penalty, but defended welll before Mike Bishay made a successful 40-20 kick to take Skolars’ deep into the Barrow half. Bishay was carried off with a suspected broken ankle a few minutes later. But the Skolars almost scored when Barrow tried to pass the ball in the own in-goal area to try to reach safety. The ball went forward and to ground, but Skolars’ Aaron Small knocked on as he grounded the ball and Barrow were relieved to only concede a drop-out.

Barrow kicked a penalty goal before Skolars went close again when Dave Ellison grounded the ball short and then was penalised for a double movement as he tried to get the ball over the line. Barrow added another penalty goal on the stroke of half-time to put the visitors 0-18 up.

Barrow finally gained their first away win of the season, though they had to work harder for the victory in London than the final scoreline would suggest. Even midway through the second half, the margin was only 12 points and close enough to warrant kicking for goal from a penalty, having already done so twice in the second half.

The second half saw Ellison win the ball from Skolars’ kick-off, but Barrow’s defence held out. After Nathan Mossop had been held up over the line by Skolars, they scored their only try of the game when Mike Benson forced his way through the defence to score,Oscar Thomas adding the conversion.

Liam Ward kicked another penalty, but Skolars were still in contention until Barrow two tries in three minutes. Liam Harrison created a gap on the left and 30 metres to touchdown, Then Liam Campbell who took a flat pass on the halfway, before releasing the ball for Ward to finish off the move.

A further two tries late in the game put Barrow further ahead. Prop Anthony Bate went over from close range, then they moved the ball quickly out to the right with Shaun Toal making the most of the overlap to slide over in the corner. Ward added his ninth goal of the season, leaving Skolars still looking for their first home win of the season.

LONDON SKOLARS
1 James Anthony
2 Jimmy Morgan
3 Matt Cook
4 Aaron Small
5 Marcus Elliott
6 Mike Bishay
7 Oscar Thomas
24 Lewis Reed
9 Joel Wicks
10 David Williams
11 Mike Benson
12 Will Lovell
19 Will Fairhurst

Subs (all used)
8 Michael Sykes
15 Billy Driver
21 Dave Ellison
16 Cariern Clement-Pascall

Tries: Benson (53)
Goals: Thomas 1/1

RAIDERS
1 Kristian Tyson
20 Shane Toal
27 Chris Hankinson
31 Cameron Pitman
5 Kyle Dolan
14 Josh Ward
7 Liam Campbell
8 Joe Bullock
9 Nathan Mossop
21 Anthony Bate
11 Liam Harrison
12 Craig Briscoe
13 Dan Toal

Subs (all used)
29 Peter Lupton
24 Andy Litherland
30 Brad Crellin
10 Andrew Dawson

Tries: Pitman (5), Dawson (21), Harrison (63), Ward (66), Bates (73), S Toal (78)
Goals: Ward 9/9

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-14, 0-16, 6-16, 6-18, 6-24, 6-30, 6-36, 6-42

Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match
Skolars: Dave Ellison
Raiders: Andrew Dawson

Penalty count: 5-11
Half-time: 0-16
Referee: Tom Grant
Attendance: 331

For a number of years now London Skolars and their education partners Barnet and Southgate College have been nurturing numerous young Rugby players through their studies whilst also giving them the opportunity to play a competitive level of rugby through the Rugby Education Academy at the College.

The College programme which was run in conjunction with Rugby Union giants Saracens has consistently provided Skolars with first team squad members, and graduates of the programme include centre Aaron Smalls, prop Dion Chapman and up and coming back Seb Kolasa. The alumni also includes current London Broncos Wing Iliess Macani who has made over 30 appearances in Super League and scored 13 tries.

In 2015 to line up with London Skolars and London RL’s performance pathway, the College programme will now split from its union partners and launch a stand-alone RFL Tier 3 Academy. This is a very exciting move for London RL, as Barnet and Southgate College will now become the only post 16 education establishment to offer Rugby League throughout the whole of London and the South-East.

This move is great news for aspiring young RL players in London and the surrounding home counties as it fills a much needed void in the London RL performance pathway. With the London Junior League only fielding sides up to U17’s, for those players who want to continue with Rugby League above that age, the only options are to play in the London Men’s League. The College Academy will allow them to play a competitive level of Rugby League against players of similar age and size whilst completing their studies at one of the biggest College sport departments in the country.

Community Development Manager Matt Cuss, who leads on the programme spoke of the move, “We are very excited to finally announce our stand-alone RL programme, this is a culmination of many years of hard work from lots of people, and we feel now is the right time to step away from the Rugby Union partnership and launch an academy which solely focuses on Rugby League.” Cuss continued, “The College Academy will give young players from the whole of London RL the chance to study a full-time academic qualification, whilst also developing themselves as a Rugby League player, training and playing 3 times a week and getting some of the best off-field support available outside of the Super League Academies. There will be a real focus on ensuring players are given an unrivalled platform to demonstrate their talent as they progress through the London Player Performance Pathway. Our team of specialist coaching staff at London Skolars, in partnership with the staff from the Barnet and Southgate College set up will provide elite training and performance coaching on a weekly basis whilst working with the College lecturers to ensure that the players maintain a high level of performance off the field too.”

James Edgerley, Sports Development Officer for Barnet and Southgate College added, “We are extremely excited by the possibilities of this new Tier 3 RFL Academy in partnership with London Skolars. This year is something of an anniversary for Rugby League here at the College as it marks 10 years since Gavin Willacy started a Rugby League programme here with Skolars, so it’s fitting we’ve gone full circle and will have an exclusive Rugby League programme again, only now as part of an official RFL Performance structure.”

In addition to the playing opportunities and Academic course, as part of the students study programme within the RFL Tier 3 Academy, they will have the opportunity to gain their RFL Level 1 coaching qualification, Rugby League officials qualification and possibly even more besides based on application and ambition.

All London Junior RL players are urged to attend the next Open Days for students interested in joining the programme for the 2015/2016 Academic Year, these are to be held on Wednesday May 27th and Friday July 10th both starting at 11am at the Colleges Southgate Campus, before the practical sessions at London Skolars ground White Hart Lane, New River stadium. To apply, please visit http://www.barnetsouthgate.ac.uk/delivering-careers/sports-science-and-management/sports-practical-days-registration-form or contact Matt Cuss at London Skolars or James Edgerley at Barnet and Southgate College for more information.

Josh Ward scored a try and added nine goals for a personal haul of 22 points to lead Barrow to a 42-6 Kingstone Press League 1 win over London Skolars.

Cameron Pitman and Andrew Dawson went over for first-half tries and Ward added four goals as the visitors held a 16-0 advantage at the interval.

Michael Benson got Skolars on the board with a 55th-minute try, converted by Oscar Thomas.

But Barrow hit back and further tries from Liam Harrison, Ward, Anthony Bate and Shane Toal with another four Ward goals ensured Barrow claimed a victory.

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