Skolars left to rue chances

25th July 2018

London Skolars were left ruing missed opportunities as they suffered another narrow defeat, this time going down 28-18 at Whitehaven in Betfred League One.

Skolars enjoyed some good spells of possession in the early stages, but could not turn it into points. A break by James Meadows, continued by Billy Driver and Matt Fleming, saw Whitehaven put under pressure and Skolars won a scrum close to the tryline, but lost the ball on the very first tackle.

Whitehaven’s Stu Howath spotted an opportunity to kick high to the corner for Jordan Burns to outjump Vinny Finigan to score the Cumbrian’s first try. He kicked again to the wing a few minutes later to force a drop-out, then repeated his successful strategy for Burns to score his second try.

Haven went further ahead when Josh Eaves went in under the posts after Skolars had conceded several penalties in quick succession. That saw them put on a team warning and when Matt Ross was judged offside five minutes later, he found himself yellow carded.

Skolars held out for the rest of the half and won the ball from the restart in the second half. Mike Bishay was in support to take the ball on from Meadows, before Lameck Juma dived low to get through the defence on the tryline.

The visitors scored again five minutes later when Jy-Mel Coleman stretched out to score, returning to side after a couple of months out through injury. Neil Thorman converted to narrow the gap to four points and almost set up another try when he chipped over the defence, but lost control as he tried to regather and pass to Bishay with the line beckoning.

Bishay was involved again a few minutes later when he kicked through and then raced onto a second kick by Driver, but was stopped just short of the tryline.  Whitehaven missed a penalty kick at goal, but went further ahead when Connor Holliday went over on the left. The conversion hit the posts, but Skolars were penalised at the kick-off when they tried to kick short, but the ball didn’t go the required 10 metres.

Whitehaven pressurised the line and Chris Taylor cut through the defence with ease on the right.

Skolars reduced the gap back to eight points when Lameck Juma touched down for his second try with Thorman kicking his third goal of the afternoon, but a late penalty goal by Jordan Burns sealed the game for the home side.

Skolars take on league leaders Bradford Bulls this Saturday. It will be the first time the former World Champions have visited New River Stadium

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