London Skolars 38 University of Gloucestershire All Golds 22

17th June 2013

Skolars moved into the play-offs spots for the first time this season, although it was only in the last quarter that they asserted their authority in a scrappy game.

They got off to a good start with two tries in the first five minutes. The first came after a penalty for interference and Skolars swung the ball left for Ade Adebisi to score in the corner. On the next possession Andy McLean kicked a 40-20 and Joe Price breezed through the defence early in the tackle count.

McLean almost scored himself soon afterwards racing to take his own bomb, but catching with his back to the tryline he couldn’t ground the ball.

When James Anthony came into the attacking line to score down the right Skolars were 12-0 up, Dylan Skee having missed three difficult conversions.

Gloucestershire showed they could move the ball outwide and often found gaps when they did so. After a Callum Mulkeen run he kicked through, but James Anthony was well positioned to push the ball out for a goal line drop out. Skolars then managed to find touch and gain possession.

After being held up a couple of times, the All-Golds finally scored later in the first half when Marcus Brooker touched down under the posts. They almost scored again two minutes later, when Steve Parry’s try was correctly ruled out for an obstruction. But they did level the scored on the strike of half-time, after Skolars conceded a scrum close to the tryline. The All-Golds moved the ball quickly to the right for Mark Barlow to race in unopposed, Matt Bradley converting his second try of the day.

They went into the lead early in the second half when Curtis Cunningham went over on the left with ease. With hookers Pat Smith and Steve Parry both making goods yards it looked like there could be an upset on the cards and with a large travelling contingent, many having played in the earlier under 16s and 19s games, there was much vocal support for the visitors.

Mike Worrincy levelled the scores, breaking the line on half-way to score for Skolars outwide on the right, giving Skee a fourth difficult conversion attempt; the miss leaving the scores level. But when Skolars knocked on from the kick-off Steve Parry raced through the defence, the second time the All-Golds had scored straight from a scrum.

James Anthony kicked through for Ade Adebisi to race to the ball, just grounding it before the dead-goal line to score his 50th try for the club in 65 games. Skolars regained the lead after Andy McLean’s high kick was fumbled by the defence, John Paxton taking the ball with Skee kicking his first conversion of the day.

The All-Gold’s next attack saw a kick go dead, but when Kev Dickens obstructed the ball’s return to the 20 metre line, he was sin-binned, Skolars moved deep upfield and Anthony finished off a Williams break. The full-back then combined with Price to bundle the All-Golds winger into touch 5 metres fro the try line.

Another Williams run saw him lose the ball as he dived for the line, but when Erjon Dollapi strode over soon afterwards, the visitors were denied a bonus point. Skolars almost scored another try but the final pass to Olly Purslow was forward.

Skolars’ head coach Joe Mbu thought his side had “let the foot off the pedal” in the first half. “We also overplayed, there were too many long passes and we were uncontrolled in our play”. The game saw Jermaine Wray come of a break from the game to play for the Londoners and his new coach felt that “he did well in his first game for a while. It will be a couple of games before he settles in, but he will add a lot to our side”

For his hard working performance in attack and defence, Olly Purslow won the man of the match award sponsored by The Mall, Wood Green Shopping City.

LONDON SKOLARS
1 James Anthony
2 Smokie Junor
4 John Paxton
3 Joe Price
5 Ade Adebisi
26 Andy McLean
7 Dylan Skee
13 Olly Purslow
21 Evan Simons
10 David Williams
12 Mike Worrincy
28 Sam Wellings
27 Jermaine Wray

Subs (all used)
9 Martyn Smith
28 Erjon Dollapi
16 Louis Robinson
30 Michael Sykes

Tries: Adebisi (2,55), Price (6), Anthony (30,69), Worrincy (49), Paxton (62), Dollapi (75)
Goals: Skee 2/7, McLean 1/1

ALL-GOLDS
1 Curtis Cunningham
2 Maxime Claustres
3 Callum Mulkeen
4 Yannic Parker
19 Marcus Brooker
6 Mark Barlow
7 Matt Bradley
22 Chris Vitalini
9 Pat Evans
14 Kev Dickens
11 Tyla Hepi
12 Rich Jones
20 Brendon Smith

Subs (all used)
14 Steve Parry
13 Lee Kelley
8 Mike Stewart
18 James Walters

Tries: Brooker (36), Barlow (40), Cunningham (45), Parry (52)
Goals: Bradley 3/4

Penalty count: 10-8

Half-time: 12-12
Referee: Tom Crashley
Attendance: 589

SCORING SEQUENCE: 4-0, 8-0, 12-0, 12-6, 12-12, 12-16, 16-16, 16-22, 20-22, 26-22, 32-22, 38-22


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