Swinton Lions 38 London Skolars 30

Skolars earned their first point of the league campaign against top of the table Swinton at The Willows. Having dominated the second half they will be ruing having to fightback after a five minute spell in the first half when they conceded three tries.

Swinton got off to a flying start with a break from his own 20 metre line in the first minute by Phil Joseph saw Gavin Dodd score after just 35 seconds. A bad start, but Skolars levelled the game after 14 minutes. Jack Latus on his debut for the club went close to the line and a quick flick pass to the wing by Gareth Honor saw Dave Arnot touchdown with Neil Thorman converting from the touchline.

Then came the three quickfire tries for the Lions. First Ian Mort cut inside dodging several tackles on the way to the tryline. Then Roben foxen broke through, looked to have been caught and threw a speculative pass behind him. It found Gavin Dodd perfectly. Foxen then added a try himself.

Dave Arnot made a fine try saving tackle to deny Sam Reay, but from the next move Darren Hawkyard extended the Lions’ lead.

Skolars pulled two tries back before the break. Lamont Bryan, on loan from Harlequins RL finished off a Neil Thorman break. Then a 40-20 by Jy-Mel Coleman saw Skolars with a scrum deep into Swinton’s half, and scored when Ade Adebisi went over in the left corner.

But Swinton finished the half as they had started it, Karl Ashall’s try with 25 seconds of the half remaining gave them a 34-18 lead at the break.

The home side were the first to score after the restart through Dale Cunniffe. But then Skolars started to take control and put the Lions onto the backfoot. Dylan Skee kicked a 40-20. Arnot was caught on the sixth tackle, but soon afterwards Lamont Bryan made a strong break and Jack Latus scored on his debut after some quick passing by Honor and Thorman.

Then Dylan Skee and Jason Cook combined to put Adebisi over for his second try of the game. Thorman added his fifth conversion and his 40-20 put Skolars in a good position to score again. Honor was held up over the line, but the home defence held out for the final 10 minutes and looked relieved to hear the final hooter.

It was Skolars’ first ever game at The Willows, the temporary home of Swinton, and unless a cup run draws Skolars against either Swinton or Salford, it’s unlikely that they will play there again as Salford are set to move to a new stadium at the end of the season. That meant Austen Aggrey may miss out on a chance to score a try on his home city ground. He still needs one touchdown to record his 50th try for Skolars.

HORNETS
21 Ian Mort
2 Rob Foxen
3 Gavin Dodd
5 Sam Reay
20 Richard Flooks
6 Martin Ainscough
7 Ian Watson
8 Mike Morrison
9 Mark Smith
10 Dana Wilson
36 Dale Cunniffe
15 Darren Hawkyard
13 Phil Joseph

Subs (all used)
25 Karl Ashall
38 Lee Paterson
29 Chris Tyrer
27 Bruce Johnson

Tries: Dodd (1,20), Mort (17), Foxen (22), Hawkyard (30), Ashall (40), Cunniffe (46)
Goals:

LONDON SKOLARS
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
33 Lamont Bryan
15 Olly Purslow
31 Austen Aggrey

Subs (all used)
32 Sam Gee
16 James Simon
8 Tony Williams
33 Cariern Clement-Pascall

Tries: Arnot (14), Bryan (35), Adebisi (37,69), Latus (57)
Goals: Thorman 5/5

Penalty count: 4-9

Half-time: 34-18
Referee: Clint Sharrad

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