London Skolars 52-20 Coventry Bears

26th April 2016

Kingstone Press League 1
London Skolars 52 Coventry Bears 20

Skolars lengthened their winning run to five games – a club record since the club entered the professional ranks in 2003.

They enjoyed a long spell of sustained possession early on the back of two penalties and three knock-downs. The Bears held out that pressure, but the Skolars went ahead when Jy-Mel Coleman put up a high swirling ball. Joel James caught the ball, but full-back Alex Walker timed his run to perfection to pluck the ball out of his opposite number’s grasp for the first try.

Coventry levelled the scores when Craig Barratt took advantage of Jy-Mel Coleman running out from the defensive line for an attempted interception.

With the penalty count against the Bears mounting up, referee Andy Bentham finally lost his patience and Jay Lobwein was sin-binned. That was to take its toll on the Bears later on in the game, but whilst he was off, Skolars only scored one try, Mike Bishay breaking the defence on the right before slipping the ball inside to Jy-Mel Coleman. After Bishay had kicked a penalty, Walker again followed up a spiralling Jy-Mel Coleman bomb to James, who lost control. Walker picked up the ball to give Skolars a 20-6 lead at half-time.

Skolars continued to dominate after the restart. Dave Williams broke through the middle and though he might well have pushed his way over the last defender, he selflessly passed the ball to Erjon Dollapi. Dollapi then crashed through for his second three minutes later. With Coventry reeling, Bishay surprisingly then kicked a penalty after that before Coventry scored their second try through Richie Hughes, who had missed most of the first half after taking a knock early on.

Papua New Guinean international Israel Eliab broke down the right wing, after a quick play-the-ball putting the Bears on the backfoot, releasing John Paxton to score. Bishay added a try after Sam Druce had been held up, but then Coventry scored two late tries. Matt Reid followed up a Craig White before offloading to Grant Beecham, then Charlie O’Mara finished off an Eddie Medforth break on the opposite wing.

Skolars had the final word, with Eliab scoring out wide to reach the half century. Bishay’s tenth conversion from 10 attempts saw him finish with 24 points in the match and the celebrations could begin.

1 Alex Anthony
2 Sam Nash
3 Aaron Small
4 Israel Elian
5 John Paxton
6 Jy-Mel Coleman
7 Mike Bishay
8 Michael Sykes
9 Sam Druce
11 Toby Everett
13 Eddie Mbaraga
12 Will Lovell
10 Dave Williams

14 Ben Pointer
19 Erjon Dollapi
23 Ben Gray
16 Joe Price

Tries: Walker (10,40), Coleman (30), Dollapi (44,47), Paxton (61), Bishay (67), Eliab (78)
Goals: Bishay 10/10

1 Joel James
2 Ben Warrilow
3 Eddie Medforth
4 Matt Reid
5 Jason Bass
6 Craig White
7 James Redman
8 James Geurtjens
9 Jay Lobwein
10 Jack Morrison
11 Liam Thompson
12 Chris Barratt
25 Richie Hughes

Subs (all used)
14 Charlie O’Mara
13 Adam Saynor
16 Jono Miliszewski
24 Grant Beecham

Tries: Barratt (16), Hughes (57), Beecham (72), O’Mara (75)
Goals: James 2/2, White 0/2

Penalty count: 14-8

Half-time: 20-6
Referee: Andy Bentham
Attendance: 365

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 6-6,12-6, 14-6, 20-6, 26-6, 32-6, 34-6, 34-12, 40-12, 46-12, 46-16, 46-20, 52-20

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