London Skolars 18 Keighley Cougars 16

12th June 2011

Skolars pulled off another impressive home victory against a side in the top 4. After losing 66-6 at Keighley in the opening round of Co-operative Championship 1, Skolars put in a strong defensive effort, denying Cougars a try until the 50th minute.

Neither side made a good start. Jy-Mel Coleman put two kicks straight into touch whilst Keighley were caught with the ball in their hands on the half-way line on a sixth tackle. A Scott Law run saw Cougars’ first meaningful attack, but Danny Lawton was stopped short of the line and his last gasp pass went to ground.

Coleman made amends with a chip kick that was hacked downfield by Aaron Small. James Haythornthwaite gathered the ball, but Small stole it back. That gave Skolars the field position to attack the line, with Jaroslaw Obuchowski scoring on the right flank on the 20 minute mark.

Small and his centre Michael Brown both made breaks, but a lacklustre Cougars weren’t able to make inroads until late in the half, with James Anthony strong in anticipation to position himself to return any deep kicks. Brendon Rawlins slipped the ball from dummy half to Jermaine Wray who has held up over the line (it might have been different if the roles had been reversed). They then forced a goal line drop out, but couldn’t break the defence. A Dylan Skee 40-20 gave Skolars their breath back and the stand-off then kicked a penally with a minute of the game remaining, his 17th consecutive successful kick in a row – another club record.

The Cougars departed at half-time to booing from their travelling support and their mood was not improved when Dylan Skee slipped a pass out to Ben Bolger (on loan from Quins) who crashed over three minutes after the restart. Skee finally missed a kick at goal and with the rain intensifying as well as a driving wind, points were clearly going to be hard to find.

The twelve point deficit spurred Cougars into upping the pace of the game for the first time, with Jason Demetriou starting to take more of a central role. His chip through from short range ricocheted off a Skolars’ body, he regathered and did not need the additional set of six to score, darting over the line to get Keighley off the mark. Wray added a second soon afterwards finding a gap on the left side and Danny Lawton’s conversion narrowed the gap to two points.

The game looked like it might go away from Skolars when Brown just failed to ground a Skee grubber kick and Cougars went straight downfield for Ryan Benjafield to barge over the line from 5 metres out with Lawton converting. However, four minutes later the scores were levelled. Cougars lost an increasingly slippery ball on their own 20 metre line. The resulting set saw the ball moved out wide for Ade Adebisi to score in the corner, Skee missing a difficult kick.

Cougars then managed to force a goal line drop out, but just couldn’t make field position count as Skolars again held out. The home side advanced upfield and were awarded a penalty on the 20 metre line. Skee coolly slotted the ball through the posts. Skolars were in the lead with four minutes to go and the delight from the side when they forced an error from Cougars in their one subsequent set of six showed how important it was to gain their second win of the season.

The Wood Green Mall Man-of-the-Match was Dylan Skee for the second game running.

Making his debut was Will Colleran, Skolars’ new signing from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

 

LONDON SKOLARS

3 James Anthony

18 Aaron Small

30 Michael Brown

17 Dave Arnot

5 Ade Adebisi

7 Dylan Skee

6 Jy-Mel Coleman

25 Austen Aggrey

9 Gareth Honor

13 Stephen Ball

37 Jaroslaw Obuchowski

31 Ben Bolger

15 Olly Purslow

 

Subs (all used)

27 Cariern Clement-Pascall

8 Tony Williams

32 Sam Gee

35 Will Colleran

 

Tries: Obuchowski (20), Bolger (43), Adebisi (68)

Goals: Skee 3/5

 

COUGARS

18 James Haythornwaite

5 Gavin Duffy

4 Danny Lawton

23 Chris Baines

26 James Hutchinson

29 Jason Demetriou

6 Luke Helliwell

17 Ryan Benjafield

9 James Feather

10 Scott Law

11 Will Cartledge

12 Olly Pursglove

22 Ben Sagar

 

Subs (all used)

7 Ryan Smith

14 Jermaine Wray

16 Brendon Rawlins

21 Richard Jomes

 

Tries: Demetriou (50), Wray (58), Benjafield (64)

Goals: Lawton 2/3

 

Penalty count: 8-9

 

Half-time: 8-0

Referee: Matthew Kidd

Attendance: 327

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 8-0, 12-0, 12-4, 12-10, 12-16, 16-16, 18-16


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