13th May 2015

Skolars fought back in the second half, but couldn’t recover a 28 point deficit.

The game was preceded by a minutes’ silence for Keighley Cougars’ Danny Jones, who passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest during the game against Skolars’ last week. The Skolars’ player’s warm-up shirts bore Danny’s name as tribute to the Welsh international.

Oxford took an early lead when Danny Thomas floated a pass out wide creating a gap for Andrew Hoggins to score. Marcus Elliott went close for Skolars, kicking over the defence and forcing a goal line drop out. But Oxford defended the set and then counterattacked, with Adam Brook splitting the defence for Matty Blythe to touchdown under the posts.

Three minutes later Karl Davies turned to evade the would be tacklers to go over unopposed. Skolars nearly went even further behind when they made the mistake of kicking direct to Sean Morris. The full-back returned the ball, broke through the defence and slipped the ball to Luke Gardner and it took a fine cover tackle by James Anthony to drag the winger into touch.

The Dark Blues scored two more tries before the break. Danny Thomas eased his way through the defence, then a break from Marcus Brooker caught Skolars’ napping and Luke Gardner went over in the corner.

Jermaine Coleman’s half-time teamtalk seemed to have it’s desired effect as Kittrick scored with a short kick over the top of the defence, grounding the ball just before the dead ball line, on his debut on loan from Doncaster.

After Aaron Jones-Bishop managed to ground the ball in the corner on his back, Skolars fought back with three tries in five minutes. Michael Sykes forced his way over for his first try in 7 years at the club, before Matt Cook found a gap out wide to score. He then ran from deep on the next set and moved the ball to the right for Joel Wicks to score, Mike Bishay’s conversion narrowing the deficit to eight points.

They looked to have scored soon afterwards when Marcus Elliott took a high kick from Kittrick, but he was ruled offside. Oxford ensured the win when Gardner went over in the corner for his second try, Brooks kicking his fifth conversion of the afternoon.

1 Sean Morris
21 Luke Gardner
14 Marcus Brooker
3 Andrew Hoggins
28 Jonny Morris
32 Adam Brook
36 Danny Thomas
34 Karl Davies
31 Mark Barlow
10 Jonny Payne
11 Josh Scott
37 Adam Withington
27 Matty Blythe

Subs (all used)
9 Nathan Kitson
8 Jordan Andrade
19 Kyle Dannis
5 Aaron Jones-Bishop

Tries: Hoggins (5), Blythe (21), Davies (24), Thomas (35), Gardner (39, 75), Jones-Bishop (54)
Goals: Brook 5/7

1 James Anthony
2 Marcus Elliott
3 Matt Cook
4 Aaron Small
5 Jimmy Morgan
6 Josh Kittrick
7 Mike Bishay
8 Michael Sykes
9 Joel Wicks
10 David Williams
11 Cariern Clement-Pascall
12 Will Lovell
14 Will Fairhurst

Subs (all used)
25 Anthony Cox
20 Max Edwards
24 Lewis Reed
16 Mike Benson

Tries: Kittrick (50), Sykes (61), Cool (63), Wicks (66)
Goals: Bishay 4/4

SCORING SEQUENCE:4-0, 10-0, 16-0, 22-0, 28-0, 28-6 32-6, 32-12, 32-18, 32-24, 38-24

Penalty count: 4-8
Half-time: 28-0
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Attendance: 255

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