Late blast gives Skolars the points

16th June 2014

Four tries in eight minutes saw Skolars pull away for their first win since Easter. When Oxford had pulled level at 28 apiece the game looked to be turning their way, but that four try spell saw Oxford only touch the ball at each of the kick-offs.

Skolars had taken an early lead with Mike Bishay cutting though the defence, having enjoyed a strong period of possession after the home side had been penalised for obstruction on three separate occasions. On Skolars’ next attack, Bishay’s 40-20 attempt went straight into touch. Oxford took full advantage with Alex Thompson darting over from close range.

Skolars regained the lead when Martyn Smith somehow beat Sean Morris for the ball in the air after a Courtney Davies kick, David Williams being on hand to collect the ball in the in-goal area to score.

Morris soon made amends with a 55 metre run from deep in his own half, but Oxford couldn’t make the most of that attack and Skolars went further ahead when Denny Solomona slipped the ball out to James Duckworth on the wing. Both players were making their debut for the club as part of their dual registration with London Broncos.

Skolars’ defence has been poor in recent weeks and that was shown again when Tommy Connick crossed the line unopposed to narrow the deficit to two points. Solomona made a break for Skolars soon afterwards and finished off the attack later in the tackle count. Davies added the conversion and kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to put Skolars 12-22 up.

Sam Blaney narrowed the gap for the Dark Blues, but Bishay scored his second after making the most of an Oxford error 30 metres from their own line.

A Davies high kick forced an error from Morris and looked to have forced a drop-out but Skolars were adjudged offside and Oxford gained a relieving penalty. Morris made full amends with Oxford’s fourth try and when Jack Briggs scored after a Skolars’ pass went to ground, the home side were level. Connick had kicked his first four conversions, but missed the fifth.

The re-introduction of Dave Williams and Erjon Dollapi from the bench saw both props make a big impact. They combined to break half the length of the field, before Smith kicked across field for Solmona to score his second try. Smith then upped the pace from dummy half and Lamont Bryan was on hand to take the ball onto the line.

Williams made another break and that led to Solomona touching down for his hat-trick. Another break from the forwards came from the restart, Mike McMeeeken cutting through the defence for captain Dave Williams to score his second try of the afternoon. Davies had missed two of his first three conversions, but clearly found his form with seven more successful kicks, three of which were from the touchline.

Skolars couldn’t add to the tally in the last seven minutes but will also have been grateful to deprive their opponents of a bonus point and thereby leapfrog over them in the league table.



1 Sean Morris

30 Jack Briggs

5 Callum Mulkeen

3 Marcus Brooker

2 Michael Crabtree

18 Jordan Rice

6 Tommy Connick

35 Karl Temata

9 Alex Thompson

10 Matty Haddin

11 JJ Baird

12 Andrew Hoggins

13 Valu Bentley


Subs (all used)

17 Rory Sharratt

15 Glenn Osborn

36 Ed Hayles

16 Sam Blaney


Tries: Thompson (15), Connick (32), Blaney (43), Morris (59)

Goals: Connick 4/5



1 John Paxton

34 Judd Greenhalgh

4 Mufaro Mvududu

14 Denny Solomona

30 James Duckworth

6 Courtney Davies

7 Mike Bishay

10 Dave Williams

9 Martyn Smith

20 Erjon Dollapi

12 Mike McMeeken

11 Anthony Cox

13 Oliver Purslow


Subs (all used)

8 Ryan McDonald

19 Sam Druce

20 Michael Sykes

22 Lamont Bryan


Tries: Bishay (9,46), Williams (17,73), Duckworth (28), Solomona (36,65,70), Bryan (68)

Goals: Davies 8/10


Penalty count: 8-11

Half-time: 12-22

Referee: Peter Brooke

Attendance: 316


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 6-4, 6-10, 6-14, 12-14, 12-20, 12-22, 18-22, 18-28, 24-28, 28-28, 28-34, 28-40, 28-46, 28-52

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