Oxford RL 30 London Skolars 30

2nd September 2013

A draw ensured that Skolars finished fourth in the league, but also meant that they face a difficult trip to Rochdale next week in the first round of the play-offs.

Skolars made a flying start at Iffley Road when Mike Worrincy, playing in the centres, pushed a long pass across the line to open up a gap on the left wing for John Paxton to score.

Oxford counterattacked with a break from deep from Sean Morris and it took a good tackle from Mike Worrincy and Smokie Junor to stop the move. Oscar Thomas made an interception on his own 20 metre line, in his first game after breaking his ankle back in March. He couldn’t quite reach the tryline, but it wasn’t long before Mike Worrincy burst through the line.

However, he limped off injured soon afterwards and then Oxford put in a three try burst to give them a 14-12 lead. First Alex Thompson went over after creating a gap on the right. Then Matty Hadden crashed over followed by Kenny Calladine soon after coming onto the field as substitute.

The home side moved further into the lead with two tries early into the second half. Oliver Johnson scored after a mix up in the Skolars’ defence, then Tommy Connick scored from the next set of six to give them a 12 point lead.

It was close to the hour mark before Skolars started to close the gap, Andy McLean scoring after a James Anthony break through the middle. A high shot on David Williams saw a scuffle break out and the resulting melee saw Olly Purslow sent off for Skolars, joined by Oxford’s Chris Clarke.

Dylan Skee scored after following up a grubber kick that ricocheted off the goalposts, his conversion narrowing the gap to two points. Oxford increased their lead to six points when Matt Fiander chased down a deep kick, but after Rob Thomas crashed through the defence to score, Skee’s fifth conversion of the days levelled the scores.

Skolars moved upfield from the restart but chose to take the ball wide rather than going for a drop goal. The ball went loose in a two man tackle and Oxford then advanced upfield but missed a drop goal attempt in the final seconds.

Skolars travel to Rochdale next week, but the play-off format means that the losing side will get a second chance to make the promotion Grand Final at the end of the month.

Dylan Skee’s five goals and a try meant that he finished the regular league campaign as the highest goal scorer and highest points scorer in Kingstone Press Championship 1. His first goal saw him neat his own Skolars’ record of 89 goals in a season, his try seeing him break his own record Skolars’ record of 226 points in a season. His fifth goal saw him pass Paul Thorman as the leading goal scorer in Skolars’ history.

Oxford
1 Johnny Leather
4 Oliver Johnson
32 Sean Morris
21 Andrew Hoggins
5 Shaun Robinson
6 Tommy Connick
36 Jimmy Rowland
16 Matty Hadden
9 John Clough
10 Chris Clarke
12 John James Baird
14 Alex Thompson
29 Martin Roden

Subs (all used)
13 Valu Bentley
17 Lenny Calladine
7 Brett Robinson
22 Matt Fiander

Tries: Thompson (26), Hadden (31), Calladine (35), Johnson (46), Connick (48), Viander (71)
Goals: Leather 1/3, Rowland 2/3
Sent off: Clarke (63) – fighting

London Skolars
1 James Anthony
2 Smokie Junor
12 Mike Worrincy
4 John Paxton
32 Oscar Thomas
26 Andy McLean
7 Dylan Skee
30 Michael Sykes
36 Jermaine Wray
10 David Williams
19 James Roche
3 Joe Price
27 Sam Wellings

Subs (all used)
9 Martyn Smith
8 Rob Thomas
13 Olly Purslow
14 Oliver Bloom

Tries: Paxton (2), Worrincy (20), McLean (57), Skee (68), R Thomas (76)
Goals: Skee 5/5
Sent-off: Purslow (63) – fighting

Penalty count: 7-6

Half-time: 14-12
Referee: Ron Laughton
Attendance: 318

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 4-12, 8-12, 14-12, 20-12, 26-12, 26-18, 26-24, 30-24, 30-30


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