University of Gloucestershire All Golds 28 London Skolars 35

29th July 2013

London Skolars moved up into third place in the league after their win in Cheltenham and next week’s game against league leaders Oldham will be key for Skolars’ promotion hopes.

Skolars took an early lead with Gareth Raynor scoring with his second touch of the ball on his debut for the club, the former Great Britain international cutting inside to score.

Skolars missed a couple of scoring chances with a strong wind making it hard to control passes, but there was no stopping James Anthony who raced 60 metres before releasing Dylan Skee to run the remaining 30 metres to the line. Skee beat Paul Thorman’s record of 488 points scored for the club with the try and then added the conversion.

Anthony also had a hand in the next try, combining with Joe Price to split the defence before Olly Purslow dived over the tryline.

The All-Golds came close to scoring just before the break, but there was an obstruction in the lead up to Nev Morrison’s disallowed try and Skolars went in 18-0 up at half-time.

Skolars scored soon after the restart with Anthony finishing off a break by Sam Wellings and Evan Simons. However, the home side now had the advantage of the wind and Mike Stewart scored for them after Skolars had conceded one of ten penalties.

Anthony scored his second try when Louis Robinson pulled in the defence close to the line and managed to slip the ball out to the full-back. When a Simons break saw Alex Hurst touchdown Skolars looked to be comfortable at 6-34 up.

However, the Gloucestershire side fought back in the last twenty minutes. Quick passing across the line saw Morrison score, followed soon afterwards by Steve Parry pushing through from dummy half. When Pat Smith took advantage of a Skolars’ error early in the tackle count, the home side gained in confidence and with Parry scoring his second try four minutes later and Tim Bergin kicking his fourth goal, the Skolars lead was down to six points with five minutes remaining.

Skolars use their experience to keep possession, but when their kick was charged down, there was suddenly a chance for the All-Golds if they could get to Erjon Dollapi who picked the loose ball up on his own 40 metre line. However, the prop broke through the first set of oncoming defenders before putting a kick deep into the All-Golds half, which produced a defensive error.

Skolars won the scrum and as the hooter sounded, Mike Bishay slotted over a drop goal to seal the victory.

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