London Skolars 24 Oldham Roughyeds 44

5th August 2013

Skolars five match unbeaten run in the league came to end at the hands of top of the table Oldham, a loss that saw them drop to fifth place.

The visitors started well with two tries in the first eight minutes, both seeing them slice through the Skolars defence in the centre of the field. The first came from Lewis Palfrey who had an excellent game with the boot, both in open place and also kicking eight goals. The second came from Richard Lepori who swerved as he run to race past the despairing defence.

Skolars then enjoyed a good spell of possession, but couldn’t make it count, even after forcing a goal line drop out. Mike Bishay and Olly Purslow both went close, but Oldham’ defence held firm. After electing to tap a penalty, the Roughyeds were rewarded when Matthew Haggerty powered over the line.

Skolars pulled one back with John Paxton going in at the right corner and the winger was key to the second try five minutes later. Dylan Skee’s kick on the last tackle found Paxton wrapped up, but was able to release the ball on the outside for Alex Hurst to score. Sam Welling had a try disallowed after a James Anthony break and it was something of a relief to Oldham to kick a penalty with the last touch of the half.

Oldham started the second half more assertively. Palfrey was held-up over the line, before a kick to the corner saw Paxton unable to hold onto the ball and Dale Blooomfield took advantage to score in the left corner. They went further ahead soon afterwards, when Josh Crowley, who worked hard all game, found a gap for Lepori to score.

The Londoners responded straight away, Erjon Dollapi taking the ball after it ha been dropped by Oldham and seemed to the only one not waiting for the referee’s whistle.

Six minutes later the gap was back down to six points when Skee passed outwide to James Anthony to score his 15th try of the season to the delight of the home support.

But the Roughyeds showed their class with Josh Crowley slipping past the defence before offloading to Lepori for the full-back to record his hat-trick. With a 12 point margin Skolars weren’t settling for a bonus point, but they forced things and gave away a penalty, which Palfrey kicked successfully.

Skolars then forced a goal line drop out from the restart, but could not make inroads into the Oldham line and after conceding a penalty, Skolars conceded another try when Adam Files burrowed his way over.

Sam Wellings won the match of the match award sponsored by The Mall, Wood Green Shopping City.

It was better news for the reserves who beat league leaders Hammersmith Hills Hoists in the last game of their league campaign to qualify for the play-offs.

1 James Anthony
4 John Paxton
29 Alex Hurst
3 Joe Price
33 Gareth Raynor
26 Andy McLean
7 Dylan Skee
13 Olly Purslow
21 Mike Bishay
10 David Williams
27 Sam Wellings
12 Mike Worrincy
31 Jermaine Wray

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

Tries: Paxton (29), McLean (34), Dollapi (51), Anthony (55)
Goals: Skee 4/4

1 Richard Lepori
2 Mo Agoro
25 Jon Ford
11 Josh Crowley
5 Dale Bloomfield
23 Lewis Palfrey
16 Kenny Hughes
28 Matthew Haggerty
18 Phil Joy
9 Sam Gee
13 Mark Hobson
12 Danny Langtree
19 Michael Ward

Subs (all used)
14 Adam Files
10 Jason Boults
8 Liam Gilchrist
22 Liam Thompson

Tries: Palfrey (50, Lepori (8,49,68), Haggerty (23), Bloomfield (46), Files (80)
Goals: Palfrey 8/0

Penalty count: 5-8

Half-time: 12-20
Referee: Peter Brooke
Attendance: 563

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-18, 5-18, 12-18, 12-20, 12-24-, 12-30, 18-30, 24-30, 24-36, 24-38, 24-44

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