Skolars secure point in BetFred League 1 thriller

20th February 2018

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BetFred League 1

North Wales Crusaders 24 London Skolars 24

Queensway Stadium, Wrexham

 

Skolars drew their opening game of the season in League 1, kicking a penalty goal to level the scores with just nine seconds of the game remaining.

The game started with Skolars winning a penalty in the first tackle, but coach Jermaine Coleman will want to cut down on the 14 penalties that saw his side having to work hard in defence for a large part of the second half.

After Mike Bishay had been sin-binned for holding down, Crusaders threw the ball wide to expose a gap, Omari Caro intercepted a pass in his own half and he cantered to the line, scoring under the posts, Charlie Lawrence adding the conversion.

Another penalty conceded saw Crusaders advance upfield, leading to Alex Thompson’s try down the left. Tommy Johnson’s conversion levelled the scores.

Skolars went ahead again sooner after Bishay returned to the field, after Jy-Mel Coleman put in a short pass to Lamont Bryan who blasted his way to the line, Coleman successfully taking over the kicking duties.

Two tries for North Wales in the last seven minutes of the first half put them 6 points ahead at the break. First Gavin Conroy caught a pass knocked-back from a high kick to the right wing, then Dale Bloomfield found a gap on the left wing when Michael Brown attempted an interception and the Crusaders went in 18-12 up at half-time.

Skolars dominated the early part of the second half, with the two dual registered Broncos’ player featuring. Rob Butler went close to the line and Api Perhairangi was held-up over the line before Butler crashed over from close range. Coleman’s conversion levelling the scores at 18 all.

However, the Welsh side went ahead again when Ryan Smith darted down the right without a defender getting to close to him. Four minutes later, Elliott Hall scored on his professional debut, taking a long pass from Caro out on the left wing. However, Coleman missed the touchline conversion attempt and Skolars were two points behind on the hour mark.

They had a couple of chances to go ahead, Coleman putting out a long pass to Sam Nash, but the winger couldn’t get past his opposite number. The increasingly influential Perhairangi found a gap near the line but was adjudged to have crossed behind a team-mate and Crusaders were awarded a relieving penalty.

The home start made a series of attacking moves. They forced a goal-line drop out, but Skolars regained possession when the restart kick found touch. Hall got a hand to what might have been a try making pass out wide, but conceded a scrum close to the tryline.

Crusaders had a chance to extend the lead when they were awarded a penalty 10 metres out, but decided to run the ball in the hope of finishing the game off with three minutes to go, but they lost possession. Skolars moved quickly upfield, Bishay was held down after a run towards the tryline. That saw Skolars awarded a penalty 15 metres from the tryline. With nine seconds left, Skolars elected to kick for goal and Coleman slotted the ball over to give his side a league point.

CRUSADERS

1 Tommy Johnson

24 Gavin Conroy

29 Alex Thompson

12 Simon Atherton

5 Dale Bloomfield

6 Steven Roper

7 Ryan Smith

10 Warren Thompson

9 Lee Hudson

16 Alex Davidson

11 Jack Houghton

15 Jordan Cox

13 Ryan Millington

 

Subs (all used)

14 James Dandy

15 Joe Bate

8 Jonny Walker

17 Luke Warburton

 

Tries: A Thompson (24), Conroy (33), Bloomfield (37), Smith (55)

Goals: Johnson 4/4
LONDON SKOLARS

1 Elliott Hall

22 Sam Nash

4 Michael Brown

3 Api Perhairangi

5 Lameck Juma

6 Jy-Mel Coleman

7 Mike Bishay

8 Louis Robinson

16 Charlie Lawrence

10 Lamont Bryan

11 Omari Caro

12 Eddie Mbaraga

13 Ryan Chester

 

Subs (all used)

9 Neil Thorman

17 Rob Butler

19 Michael Sykes

14 Olly Purslow

 

Tries:  Caro (18), Bryan (28), Butler (47), Hall (59)

Goals: C Lawrence 1/1, Coleman 3/4

 

Penalty count: 14-7

Half-time: 18-12

Referee: Luke Staveley

Attendance: 306

 

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 6-6, 6-12, 12-12, 18-12, 18-18, 24-18, 24-22, 24-24


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