London Skolars 60 Egremont Rangers 24

5th May 2011

Carnegie Challenge Cup Third Round – 5 March 2011

Skolars recorded their record score in the Carnegie Challenge Cup, but despite racking up 11 tries, coach Joe Mbu was keeping his feel firmly on the ground. “We knew it would be tight early on, but we held our game plan and controlled the ball well”.

Egremont put up a determined effort in the first half, but wilted in the second half as they conceded a series of penalties. Skolars took full advantage and at one stage Rangers went nine minutes without touching the ball other than from kick-offs, then dropping the first pass when they did regain possession.

Skolars opened the scoring when Tony Williams raced onto a Gareth Honor pass to score his first try for the club in his fortieth game. Olu Iwenofu then missed a chance to put the home side further ahead hitting the corner flag as he tried to slip through a gap. Egremont took their opportunity to counterattack with Peter Bewsher setting up Paul Corkhill’s try.

Skolars went ahead again after two tries for Gareth Honor, the first seeing the hooker crash into the posts as he grounded the ball. Williams made another run, but the impressive Blake Mahovic managed to get himself in between the prop and his support to intercept the pass. The youngster then kept the ball moving after a break from Rangers’ own half by Corkhill. The scrum half then made a quick pass to Mahovic from a scrum, opening up a gap, before offloading Brocklebank to score Egremont’s second try.

After Skolars’ defeat at the hands of fellow Cumbrians Wath Brow tow years ago, Rangers might have been hoping for another upset. Hopes of further narrowing the gap before half time were dashed when a penalty failed to find touch, Skolars advanced upfield and former Whitehaven half-back Dylan Skee combined with Neil Thorman to send Oliver Bloom over for a try. The half-backs combined again on the stroke of half-time drawing in the defence to set up Jy-Mel Coleman’s try, giving the home side a 16 point margin at the break.

Skolars raised the pace of the game in the second half and took full advantage as Egremont tired and started to concede penalties. Jason Cook scored after a quick tap penalty by Honor, then Bloom added his second after Rangers conceded three penalties in rapid succession. Another former Whitehaven player Ade Adebisi scored Skolars’ eighth try and after referee George Stokes lost patience with Egremont and sin-binned Bewsher, Skolars added two further tries. Dave McMeeken, who signed for the club during the week after a successful month on trial, used his strength to score under the posts, followed soon afterwards by a try for Iwenofu putting Skolars past the half century.

Soon after Bewsher’s return to the field a fight saw a player from each side being sin-binned, David Hartley receiving the yellow card for Egremont. The reduction in numbers on both sides saw Rangers display some quality rugby. Corkhill finished off a drive to record his second try of the game. Stephen Ball scored one back for Skolars in the right hand corner. Liam Prescott kicking his fourth conversion of the day, having taken over the duties from Neil Thorman, who also kicked four goals.

Iwenofu had a try disallowed, but the best try came right at the end of the game, Rangers finishing with a flourish. The hardworking Alastair Leak saw a gap and slipped the ball to Brocklebank thirty metres out. The loose forward looked like he would be stopped, but he swerved to avoid the tackle leaving Neil Thorman wrongfooted and on the ground to score his second try, his fourth conversion giving him a 16 point haul for the game.

3 James Anthony
30 Olu Iwenofu
14 Jason Cook
33 Jamie Boston
17 Dave Arnot
7 Dylan Skee
1 Neil Thorman
8 Tony Williams
9 Gareth Honor
16 James Simon
12 Oliver Bloom
15 Olly Purslow
13 Stephen Ball

Subs (all used)
6 Jy-Mel Coleman
31 Liam Prescott
34 Dave McMeeken
5 Ade Adebisi

Tries: Williams (5), Honor (15,27), Bloom (36,55), Coleman (40), Cook (45), Adebisi (58), McMeeken (61), Iwenofu (63), Ball (76)
Goals: N Thorman 4/6, Prescott 4/5
Sin-bin: Simon (70) – fighting

1 Rhys Davies
2 Ryan Barnes
3 Ben Walker
4 Blake Mahovic
5 Leon Crelin
6 James McDonald
7 Paul Corkhill
8 David Butler
9 Dan Telford
10 John Young
11 Peter Bewsher
12 David Hartley
13 John Paul Brocklebank
Subs (all used)
14 Alastair Leak
15 Keiron Glenn
16 Tom Whalley
17 Kevin Brown

Tries: Corkhill (12,70), Brocklebank (32,80)
Goals: Brocklebank 4/4
Sin-bin: Bewsher (54) – persistent infringements, Hartley (70) – fighting

Penalty count: 15-7

Half-time: 28-12
Referee:  George Stokes
Attendance: 342
Wood Green Mall Man of the Match: Neil Thorman

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