York City Knights 38 London Skolars 28

8th September 2014

Kingstone Press Championship 1

York City Knights 38

London Skolars 28

 

Skolars put in a strong performance in their final game of the season but were outplayed by a York City Knights side that finished top of the league.

 

Whilst the Knights were due to receive the league leaders plate at the end of the game, it was clear that they were looking to go into the play-offs with a win with Benn Hardcastle pouncing on a Lamont Bryan error to open the scoring in the second minute.

 

Though more regularly a forward, Bryan was named at scrum-half but the early mistake aside appeared to relish the freedom that the role presented. He set up Skolars’ first try, side-stepping the defence on half-way before offloading to Martyn Smith. York regained the lead after Lee Paterson’s pass found Ben Reynolds in space.

 

Skolars closed the gap when Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards found a gap in the defence after a long pass from Danny Yates. But the Knights hit back with three tries before half-time. Greg Minikin skipped around the defence, before tries from Ed Smith and Reynolds, who scored his second try of the game, also ending up with five conversions.

 

It was the Knights’ last league game before the Huntingdon Stadium is demolished to make way for a new ground which will be shared with the city’s football club. Skolars’ looked determined to spoil the day as they fought back in the second half.

 

Martyn Smith darted over the tryline after Sam Wellings had gone close. After Kriss Brining had scored for York, Mufaro Mvududu picked up a loose York pass on the half-way line, racing to the tryline for his 12th try of the season, edging ahead of Smith to finish as Skolars’ top try scorer in 2014.

 

When Fatouri-Edwards scored his second, this time taking a kick from Yates, who also kicked his fourth conversion of the afternoon, Skolars were just four points behind and with strong running from Louis Robinson and Bryan, Skolars were showing some of their best form of the season. They got in a good position to score again, but John Paxton’s effort from close range saw him bundled into touch.

 

Ultimately the league leaders’ celebrations weren’t going to be spoilt as James Saltonstall weaved past the defence to score for York, through the 10 point margin meant that Skolars edged back ahead of Oxford to finish seventh in the league.

 

KNIGHTS

26 Ben Reynolds

25 James Saltonstall

27 Tyler Craig

4 Greg Minikin

5 Ben Dent

6 Pat Smith

23 Benn Hardcastle

34 Brad Brennan

9 Jack Lee

28 Colton Roche

29 Ryan Backhouse

12 Ed Smith

13 Lee Paterson

 

Subs (all used)

14 Kriss Brining

10 Jack Aldous

18 Austen Bell

35 Josh Tonks

 

Tries: Hardcastle (2), Reynolds (16,37), Minikin (26), Smith (33), Brining (52), Saltonstall (76)

Goals: Reynolds 5/7

 

LONDON SKOLARS

1 John Paxton

31 Judd Greenhalgh

19 Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards

4 Mufaro Mvududu

5 Dennis Tuffour

7 Danny Yates

22 Lamont Bryan

20 Tely Pelo

9 Martyn Smith

8 Michael Sykes

11 Anthony Cox

12 Will Lovell

10 Dave Williams

 

Subs (all used)

14 Louis Robinson

13 Olly Purslow

6 Sam Druce

21 Sam Wellings

 

Tries: Smith (7,48), Fatouri-Edwards (23,62), Mvududu (58)

Goals: Yates 4/5

 

Penalty count: 5-4

Half-time: 26-10

 

Referee: Dave Sharpe

Attendance: 643

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6, 12-6, 12-10, 18-10, 22-10, 26-10, 26-16, 32-16, 32-22, 32-28, 38-28


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