London Skolars 16 York City Knights 16

5th May 2011

Northern Rail Cup – Sunday 20th February 2011

Skolars got their first points of the season, gaining a draw against a York side from the division above them. They actually looked the most likely to score in the last 10 minutes, and that left Joe Mbu unhappy after the game. “It’s a game we could have won, so I’m actually disappointed with the result. We had them on the backfoot, but didn’t apply enough pressure. We competed against a very good side from the Championship and showed we’ve got guys with the strength and enthusiasm to challenge and that’s what is key.”

To read more click on match score above  . . . .

On a damp day the muddy conditions made handling difficult for both sides with 29 scrums in the game. However, that didn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining and a tense finish saw neither side able to break the deadlock.

Skolars opened the scoring with Ade Adebsi chasing a Neil Thorman kick to the corner, pouncing on the ball to score as Danny Wilson failed to pick up the loose ball.

Ryan Esders and Ian Bell were both held up over the line and with Nathan Massey putting in some big hits, the second game York good field position. After a high tackle by Matt Thomas, the quick tap saw the stong running John Davies slip past a despairing tackle by Gareth Honor to race 20 metres to the line. Four minutes later the Knights took the lead. Lee Waterman did well to catch a crossfield kick by Chris Thorman and then slipped the ball to the wing for Mark Barlow to score.

After a scuffle broke out, Chris Thorman was sin-binned for dissent and with two minutes to half-time, Skolars took advantage to move downfield. Quick hands by Dylan Skee gave Luke May some space to score in the corner. Neil Thorman missed the difficult conversion to leave York just two points clear.

With the Knights having used just two substitutions before the break, the expectation was that they would start to take control of the game. This they did for a while, but they just could not break through the defence. Waterman and Bell were both held up over the line and Neil Thorman made a try saving tackle on Jack Lee five metres from the line.

But as the half progressed, York’s dominance started to wane, with Saqib Murtza and Dave Williams both working hard in defence for the home side, the latter joining the club on loan from Quins RL, as is Ben Bolger, who made his home debut on loan.

Both sides realised the importance of field position, both trying to kick deep in the expectation of the inevitable knock-on as both sides started to slide in the increasingly muddy conditions. After Skee’s long kick had forced an error by York 20 metres out, he quickly pass out to the left where the partnership of May and Adebisi saw the winger score his second try.

York bounced straight back into the game, gaining a scrum immediately after the restart following another dropped ball. Esders moved the ball out to the right and Danny Wilson scored in the corner. However, Chris Thorman missed the conversion and the scores were level.

With the ground conditions such that neither side was able to risk a drop goal both sides tried grubber kicks in the few opportunities they had in the final 13 minutes. Chris Thorman’s kick along the ground was gathered up well by Neil Thorman 5 metres from his tryline, whilst Skolars had a couple of closer chances at the other end, May and Adebisi twice getting close to Skee kicks that were both just too long.


3 James Anthony

2 Smokie Junor

17 Dave Arnot

4 Luke May

5 Ade Adebisi

7 Dylan Skee

1 Neil Thorman

8 Tony Williams

9 Gareth Honor

31 Saqib Murtza

11 Matt Thomas

33 Ben Bolger

18 Austen Aggrey

Subs (all used)

34 Dave Williams

20 Dave Samson

13 Stephen Ball

14 Liam Prescott

Tries: Adebisi (9,65), May (40)

Goals: N Thorman 2/3


20 Tom Bush

2 Dave Sutton

17 Ian Bell

4 Lee Waterman

5 Danny Wilson

6 Chris Thorman

27 Scott Woods

32 Nathan Massey

9 Jack Lee

31 Ben Jones

13 Ryan Esders

29 John Davies

24 Mark Barlow

Subs (all used)

14 Jack Stearman

22 Ed Smith

25 Steve Lewis

34 Adam Howard

Tries: Davies (24), Barlow (28), Wilsom (67)

Goals: C Thorman 2/3

Sin-bin: C Thorman (38) – dissent

Penalty count: 11-11

Half-time: 10-12

Referee: Matthew Kidd

Attendance: 264

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 10-12, 16-12, 16-16

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