Oldham Roughyeds 64 London Skolars 8

24th September 2013

Skolars’ hopes of reaching the promotion decider were dashed as they were overwhelmed by an 11 try display by Oldham.

With leading points scorer Dylan Skee watching from the sidelines after breaking his ankle, Skolars suffered further set backs before kick-off. Jermaine Wray failed a fitness test, followed by Joe Price damaging his hamstring in the warm-up. That meant Jaroslaw Obuchowski and James Roche coming to the 17.

When Oscar Thomas kicked off into touch the homeside took full advantage of the penalty, advancing upfield for Josh Crowley to crash over the tryline with only a minute of the game gone. Two further tries came from kicks with Jon Ford and Dale Bloomfield scoring on the left. Richard Lepori, back from international duties with Italy, weaved through the defence to put the home side 24 nil up after just 12 minutes.

Skolars finally enjoyed some possession and showed their creativity after moving the ball quickly to the left after a tap penalty for Alex Hurst to race through the defence for his 11th try of the season. James Anthony forced Oldham to concede goal line drop out and then a short kick from the full-back split the defence and John Paxton grounded for Skolars’ second try.

Oscar Thomas missed both conversions, but Skolars were still working hard to get back into the game. However, two tries late in the half for Jon Ford saw Oldham go in 38-8 ahead at the break.

After an early break from Sam Wellings, Skolars were defending for the first 20 minutes of the second half. James Anthony made a last ditch try saving tackle, but eventually the pressure told with Dave Cookson scoring down the right before Adam Files opened the defence in the centre. Skolars made another couple of good breaks, but Lepori showed why he may have just edged out Anthony for full-back spot in the end of the season Championship 1 Dream Team with a tackle to stop Gareth Raynor’s solo race to the line.

Adam Files added his second try, former Skolar Sam Gee set up Danny Langtrees’ try before Bloomfield scored just before the final hooter. Lewis Palfey missed that conversion, but had kicked all ten before that.

Dylan Skee and Rob Thomas have been named in the Championship 1 Dream Team, but that will have been scant consolation as Skolar’s most successful season came to a subdued conclusion.

Skee is one of three nominations for Championship 1 Player of the Year at Thursday’s KIngstone Press awards night, with Joe Mbu also in contention for Championship 1 Coach of the Year.

1 Richard Lepori
2 Mo Agoro
21 David Cookson
25 Jon Ford
5 Dale Bloomfield
23 Lewis Palfrey
16 Kenny Hughes
18 Phil Joy
9 Sam Gee
10 Jason Boults
11 Josh Crowley
12 Danny Langtree
13 Mark Hobson

Subs (all used)
14 Adam Files
22 Liam Thompson
19 Michael Ward
28 Matthew Haggerty

Tries: Crowley (1), Ford (7,34,39), Bloomfield (9,80), Lepori (12), Cookson (52), Files (56,71), Langtree (76)
Goals: Palfrey 10/11

1 James Anthony
2 Smokie Junor
4 John Paxton
29 Alex Hurst
33 Gareth Raynor
26 Andy McLean
32 Oscar Thomas
10 David Williams
9 Martyn Smith
30 Michael Sykes
12 Mike Worrincy
13 Olly Purslow
27 Sam Wellings

Subs (all used)
15 Jaroslaw Obuchowski
16 Louis Robinson
8 Rob Thomas

Tries: Hurst (23), Paxton (32)
Goals: O Thomas 0/2

Penalty count: 5-7

Half-time: 36-8
Referee: George Stokes
Attendance: 467

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 24-0, 24-4, 24-8, 30-8, 36-8, 42-8. 48-8, 54-8, 60-8, 64-8

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