London Skolars 56 Rochdale 36

5th August 2012

Skolars went past the half century for the third week running to record a memorable third consecutive victory and move into fifth place to strengthen their chances of a spot in the top six play-offs.

They couldn’t have wished for a better start with Lamont Bryan opening the scoring in the first minute and after a break by Neil Thorman.

Rochdale levelled quickly after Danny Price’s pass put Stephen Bannister through to the line untouched. The defence was again lacking when Dayne Donoghue found a gap on the right after some quick passing cross-field.

The scores were levelled when Brad Hopkins scored out on the left flank for his 13th try of the season. There was then a lengthy delay when Lamont Bryan went down heavily. It looked serious, but thakfully he was able to rejoin the game in the second half.

Hornets were just ahead of Skolars in the league and determined to keep their chances of promotion alive. When Paul Crook gained yardage through a 40-20. Dale Bloomfield was held up, but scored from the next play taking the ball on from Mark Hobson. Bloomfield set up Steve McDermott’s try and when Crook was held up, it looked like Hornets would take a 12 point lead into the break.

But Dylan Skee skipped over just before the break adding the conversion to put Skolars 12-18 behind at the break.

Two minutes into the second half James Anthony took a high ball in front of the posts 5 metres from his own line, raced toward the left, found a gap and raced down the wing before cutting inside to score under the posts.

Danny Ekis powered over to edge Rochdale back into the lead, but Skolars ht back again, with a James Anthony break finished by Ade Adebisi. Skee’s conversion attempt hit the posts, the only miss in 17 attempts from Skee and Crook. Skolars took a four point lead through Andy McLean and Rochdale started to lose their cool, conceding nine penalties in twenty minutes. Steven Roper was sin-binned for dissent, but, as so often happens, that galvanised the side with 12 players, Garry Middlehurst’s pass opening up a gap for Steve McDermott.

Despite having seen his blistering pace, Hornets held off Anthony and he then drew the defence for McLean to go in for his second try. Neil Thorman made a break early in the next set and McLean was in support to complete a 13 minute hat-trick. With news of Olympic medal wins being announced with regularity, the crowd was getting behind the Skolars and the side went further ahead with a Skee penalty with 8 minutes remaining.

Rochdale reacted positively and Barry Clarke went close but was bundled into touch by Smokie Junor. When the Hornets were ruled offside at a high kick to the wing, their discipline fell away again. Another penalty saw McDemott sin-binned and Skee slotted the ball over to increase the margin to 14 points. With a bonus point now slipping away from Hornets, Skolars advanced upfield again and an Andy McLean kick to the wing saw John Paxton push the ball backwards in-goal for Matt Thomas to score. Another dispute with the match officials saw Danny Price sin-binned. It made little difference, with time already up. Skee’s tenth conversion saw him record a 24 point haul.

That final conversion saw him score his 200th point of the season, the first ever Skolar to record that landmark. Rochdale’s 36 points was the largest scoreline for a team losing at New River.

The Man of the Match award sponsored by The Mall, Wood Green Shopping City was won by Andy McLean. The Players’ Player award sponsored by Laurent Perrier went to James Anthony.


1 James Anthony

2 Smokie Junor

3 Joe Price

4 John Paxton

5 Ade Adebisi

6 Andy McLean

7 Dylan Skee

8 Lamont Bryan

9 Neil Thorman

10 David Williams

11 Brad Hopkins

12 Matt Thomas

13 James Roche


Subs (all used)

14 Rob Thomas

15 Michael Sykes

16 Martyn Smith

17 Austen Aggrey


Tries: Bryan (1), Hopkins (18), Skee (40), Anthony (42), Adebisi (50), McLean (53,65,66), M Thomas (80)

Goals: Skee 10/11



1 Dale Bloomfield

2 Andy Taylor

3 Chris Baines

4 Stephen Bannister

5 Barry Clarke

6 Paul Crook

7 Steven Roper

8 Dave Newton

9 Danny Price

10 John Cookson

11 Dayne Donoghue

12 Mark Hobson

13 Gary Middlehurst


Subs (all used)

14 Steve McDermott

15 Adam Bowman

16 Danny Ekis

17 Phil Braddish


Tries:  Bannister (7),Donoghue (14), Bloomfield (27), McDermott (35,61), Ekis (44)

Goals: Crook 6/6

Sin-binnings: Roper (56) – dissent, McDermott (80) – persistent infringements, Price (80) – dissent


Penalty count: 16-8


Half-time: 18-24

Referee: Joe Cobb

Attendance: 407


SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 12-12, 12-18, 12-24, 18-24, 24-24, 24-30, 28-30, 34-30, 34-36, 40-36, 46-36, 48-36, 50-36, 56-36



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