Gateshead Thunder 24 London Skolars 16

11th May 2014

Skolars long trip to the North East saw them come back with a bonus point, but rueing their failure to capitalise on long periods of territorial advantage and possession.

The game had just got underway when a torrential downpour started. The home side were quick to pounce on a handling error in the difficult conditions with a try for Sam Bowring. When Skolars were penalised for offside at the kick-off Thunder again took advantage with Matty Beharrell going over in centrefield.

The home side had a good chance to extend their lead when Jamie Rooney kicked a 40-20, but after defending that set of six, Skolars began to attack, twice forcing Thunder to drop out. Martyn Smith made a 50 metre break from his own half, but it wasn’t until less than two minutes before the interval that Skolars got on the scoreboard with Mike McMeeken, dual registered with Broncos, forcing his way through the defence. Sam Druce converted to leave Skolars two points behind at the break.

The heavens opened again at the start of the second half, this time with hailstone as well as rain, the latter leaving standing water behind the Thunder tryline. However, apart from forcing one early goal line drop out, the Londoners didn’t take advantage of the damp conditions underfoot as well as the home side with former England international Jamie Rooney often forcing Skolars to bring the ball back from deep in their own half. With handling at a premium, errors meant Gateshead could attack from close to Skolars tryline and two early tries gave them a twelve point lead.

When Skolars did kick deep to the wing, it forced an error from Gateshead and Judd Greenhalgh pushed his way through for his fifth try in six games. However, when Ricky Hough scored Thunder’s fifth try it looked like Skolars could be denied a bonus point, but a late intercept by Mufaro Mvududu narrowed the losing margin to ensure that Skolars stayed just ahead in the league table of the University of Gloucestershire All-Golds, who they take on next week.

GATESHEAD THUNDER

3 Jacob Blades

5 Tom Capper

4 Joe Brown

13 Sam Bowring

25 Omari Caro

1 Jamie Rooney

26 Matty Beharrell

14 Matt Barron

27 Keal Carlile

30 Aaron Ollett

12 Jason Payne

11 Rhys Clarke

9 Ricky Hough

Subs (all used)

19 Josh Stoker

6 Paul Stamp

22 Callum Cockburn

21 Joe Hodgson

 

Tries:  Bowering (7), Beharrell 10,62), Payne (58), Hough (74)

Goals: Rooney 2/5

 

LONDON SKOLARS

1 John Paxton

14 Judd Greenhalgh

4 Mufaro Mvududu

3 Lamont Bryan

5 Jamie O’Callagahan

6 Courtney Davies

7 Sam Druce

10 Dave Williams

9 Martyn Smith

20 Tely Pelo

12 Mike Worrincy

16 Mike McMeeken

22 Olly Purslow

 

Subs (all used)

21 Ryan McDonald

11 Louis Robinson

13 Sam Wellings

23 Rob Thomas


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