London Skolars 12 Workington Town 33

15th May 2011

Co-operative Championship 1 – 15th May 2011

Skolars’ losing run continued as they fell to a strong second half display from Workington, which made the most of a downfield wind that grew as the game progressed. After the first half had seen the sides go in 12 apiece, Darren Holt’s kicking constantly forced Skolars to defend deep in their own half and rarely had a chance to attack for any meaningful period.

Workington’s joint coach Gary Charlton felt that, “We tightened up at half time and asked a few questions of their defence. We played a good kick chase game in the second half. We’ve been working on our defence and that’s heading in the right direction”.

Whilst the final scoreline might not have reflected Skolars’ efforts, the first half scoreline didn’t reflect Town’s dominance in the first quarter. Darren Holt and Scott Kaighan worked well in creating opportunites, along with Jack Pedley’s speed from dummy half. They went ahead early on from a Holt break which saw Kaighan backing up well to finish the move. They again combined in quick passing move across the field, but Elliott Miller had little space when he received the ball on the wing and was bundled into touch.

But whilst the Cumbrians enjoyed possession, they couldn’t break the defence with John Paxton and Olly Purslow working hard for Skolars. The home side levelled the score when Dylan Skee chipped the ball off the side of his foot with James Anthony timing his run to perfection. Strong running from Lamont Bryan (on loan from Quins) and Austen Aggrey saw Skolars attack again. Skee’s grubber kick rebounded off a Town player back to Skee who switched the ball to the left and Dave Arnot’s pass put Ade Adebisi through to put London into the lead.

Things didn’t look good for Town when Jarrad Stack limped off with an ankle injury. But from the next move. Holt got the ball to Mike Whitehead who crashed over, Holt’s conversion levelling the scores.

They might have gone ahead when Darren Holt’s kick looked to be good for a 40-20, but when the ball took an odd bounce away from the touchline and with no decision from touchjudge or referee, Neil Frazer was alert to pick up the ball and run to the tryline. After consultation, the officials agreed that the ball had found touch and the try was ruled out.

Two tries early in the second half put Town into control. Darren Holt’s kick was gathered by Jason Mossop and Darren King finished the move off. Then a well-timed pass from John Patrick found Miller with just enough space for him to race to the line.

Stack’s return to the field almost led to an instant try, but after his inside pass to Kaighan, the final pass to wing left no room for Frazer. Holt then kicked a penalty goal and his drop goal soon afterwards put Town more than two scores ahead. When Skolars were offside at the kick-off, he then elected to make the most of the strong wind blowing downfield and slotted over a penalty from halfway. Skolars restart then went straight into touch.

Holt was regularly kicking deep, often early in the tackle count, which reduced Skolars’ opportunities for a meaningful attack. Their one real chance came after Skee had forced a drop-out, but the subsequent move saw on-loan Ben Bolger bundled into the corner flag.

Stack rounded off the game for Town, racing through from 10 metres out to score in the last minute.

Lamont Bryan won The Mall Wood Green Man of the Match award for his strong running in attack.

31 Jack Latus
18 Aaron Small
30 John Paxton
17 Dave Arnot
5 Ade Adebisi
7 Dylan Skee
3 James Anthony
34 Michael Sykes
9 Gareth Honor
10 Jason Hart
35 Ben Bolger
15 Olly Purslow
– Lamont Byran

Subs (all used)
32 Sam Gee
22 Saqib Murtza
25 Austen Aggrey
33 Dave Williams

Tries: Anthony (25), Adebisi (30)
Goals: Skee 2/2

1 Brett Carter
2 Elliott Miller
3 Jason Mossop
21 John Patrick
5 Neil Frazer
24 Darren Holt
7 Scott Kaighan
16 Ryan Macdonald
14 Jack Pedley
10 Kris Coward
11 Mike Whitehead
12 Jarrad Stack
26 Darren King

Subs (all used)
4 Aaron Low
15 Ruairi McGoff
19 Marc Shickley
17 James Robinson

Tries: Kaighan (11), Whitehead (34), King (41), Miller (47), Stack (80)
Goals: Holt 6/7
Drop-goal: Holt

Penalty count: 7-7

Half-time: 12-12
Referee:  Chris Leatherbarrow
Attendance: 398

SCORING SEQUENCE:  0-6, 6-6, 12-6, 12-12, 12-18, 12-22, 12-24, 12-25, 12-27, 12-33

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