London Skolars 66 North Wales Crusaders 16

18th March 2012

After last week’s disappointing start to the Co-operative Championship 1 league campaign, Skolars clicked with a 12 try performance that saw them record their record winning margin in a league game.

Skolars got off to a brilliant start with two tries in the first four minutes. A Dylan Skee 40-20 in the first set of six established the tone and he cut through the defence to open the scoring. Andy McLean’s bomb on the next set was fumbled and there was no stopping Lamont Bryan as he stampeded through the defence.

North Wales made some good yards in attack, but spilt possession under pressure from the Skolars defence. Matt Thomas broke through to set up John Paxton’s try and when McLean’s long pass put Joe Price over, Skolars were 22-0 up.

The visitors had travelled south on Saturday and had stayed overnight in Watford, so the journey was not a reason for their sluggishness. Skolars gave them few opportunities to attack. When they did so, Skolars were often able to force errors.

Rob Massam got close the Skolars line, but it wasn’t long before the try scoring continued at the other end. Neil Thorman ducked under the defence to go over the line from dummy half, before McLean pushed out a short pass for Alex Bate to score his first try for the club. A Bryan run saw Price cross the line, but the ball was dislodged. Skolars put the ball out to the left again straight afterwards from Brad Hopkins to score on his debut.

Skolars might have exceeded a point a minute had James Anthony clung onto the ball with a open line in front of him after a break from Austen Aggrey on the stroke of half-time, but 40 nil was the biggest scoreline Skolars have enjoyed at half-time at this level.

The visitors looked more determined after the break and at times showed why they had pushed Barrow so close in the opening game. Jono Smith was often difficult to stop and he managed to get the ball out of a tackle for Danny Hulme to score, to the delight of a large and vociferous travelling contingent. Two penalties in rapid succession saw the Crusaders attack again. McLean’s attempted intercept gave them extended possession and Lee Hudson nipped over from dummy half.

When Hulme made a 60 metre break on the next set, a few Skolars fans were thinking back to last Easter when a 26 nil lead against Gateshead turned to a 26 all draw. But Skolars ability to gain good yardage was always going to give them regular opportunities to attack the line.

Chris McNamara had a try disallowed for a double movement, but when Jonny Walker was sin-binned for a high tackle, Skolars were clinical scoring three tries whilst they had superior numbers. McNamara scored out wide. Ade Adebisi made a break from deep with Matt Thomas finishing off and Rob Thomas used his power to crash over soon afterwards, just reward for a strong performance up front.

That made it 10 tries from 10 different try scorers for the home side, though that run was broken when Skee scored his second try after a Bryan break. Crusaders were still prepared to play positively and Hulmes’ darting run saw him touchdown for his second try.

Skolars had the final say with Hopkins scoring down the middle. That gave Skee an easy kick for his ninth goal of the game, breaking his own points scoring record in a game for Skolars in the pro era and both sets of fans cheered the announcement of his last goal. His 2 tries and 9 goals gave him a 26 point haul, beating his own record of 24 set last year against Rochdale Hornets. The winning margin of 50 was also a record for the club.

The Mall, Wood Green Shopping City Man of the Match award was won by Lamont Bryan.

 

LONDON SKOLARS

1 James Anthony

2 John Paxton

3 Joe Price

4 Chris McNamara

5 Ade Adebisi

6 Andy McLean

7 Dylan Skee

8 Rob Thomas

9 Neil Thorman

10 David Williams

11 Alex Bate

12 Matt Thomas

13 Lamont Bryan

 

Subs (all used)

14 Olly Purslow

15 Austen Aggrey

16 Martyn Smith

17 Brad Hopkins

 

Tries: Skee (2, 72), Bryan (4), Paxton (12), Price (15) Thorman (26), Bates (36), Hopkins (39,79), McNamara (57), M Thomas (60), R Thomas (62)

Goals: Skee 9/12

 

CRUSADERS

1 Danny Hulme

2 Adam Walsh

3 Tommy Johnson

4 Ron Massam

5 Kris Wilkes

6 Andy Mosedale

7 Jamie Durbin

8 Jonny Walker

9 Lee Hudson

10 ChrisTyrer

11 Anthony Morrison

12 Leon Brennan

13 Jono Smith

 

Subs (all used)

14 Billy Sheen

15 Iwan Brown

16 Aaron McCluskey

17 Ian Cross

 

Tries: Hulme (46,76), Hudson (50)

Goals: Johnson 1/2, Brennan 1/1

Sin-bin: Walker (56) – high tackle

 

Penalty count: 7-11

 

Half-time: 40-0

Referee: Tom Crashley

Attendance: 535

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 10-0, 16-0, 22-0, 28-0, 34-0, 40-0, 40-4, 40-10, 44-10, 50-10, 54-10, 60-10, 60-16, 66-16


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