17th February 2022

BetFred Challenge Cup Round 3 – 12th February 2022

London Skolars 6 Hunslet Club Parkside 28

Skolars’ Challenge Cup run came to halt as Hunslet Club Parkside scored three tries to pull away in the last fifteen minutes in what had been a very competitive game.

The home side has to defend early, bundling winger Will Cohen into touch a couple of metres out. A second chance came soon afterwards, Skolars conceding goal-line drop-out. Parkside’s Ben Shulver raced onto a grubber kick from the next set, but he couldn’t gather the ball cleanly.

Skolars showed pace down the left, with Holloway born Jamaican international debutant Aston Stephenson continuing a Jerome Yates break, but Aaron Small couldn’t take the pass. Yates opened the scoring soon afterwards, racing onto a pass from Alex Deery with Phil Lyon adding the conversion.

However, Skolars fumbled the ball from the kick-off and the south Leeds based side responded immediately as Craig McShane darted over from dummy half. The kick-off saw another short kick attempt from the restart nearly came off, but it meant that Hunslet started the set in a good position. A ball steal by Skolars then saw them lose possession instantly, Shulver picking up the ball for Dearden to put his side into the lead.

With regular goal-kicker Jamie Fields off, Andy Hullock took advantage to extend the lead with a penalty. Skolars showed their pace again and it took a good tackle by Cohen to pull Abevia McDonald into touch and ensure his side went in 6-12 ahead at half-time.

Skolars had a good chance early on to exert pressure. A Phil Lyon grubber was deflected forwards by a Club Parkside foot, Connor Squires raced to be the first to get to the ball for the visitors, depriving Skolars of another set.

Yates took a high ball well close to his line, but when Skolars lost possession through an incorrect play the ball on the next tackle, the visitors seized the opportunity, Elliott Morgan barged his way over after another Shulver run. When Abevia McDonald broke down the left wing, it looked like Skolars might make a comeback but he put a foot in touch as he passed his opposite number.

With Oliver Bloom having been injured in the first ten minutes, Skolars’ forwards were tiring against one of the best community sides in the country, effectively one division below the Skolars. Jack McShane scooted over from dummy half for the visitors with two minutes remaining but there was still time for Club Parkside to score again from the next set, with Omar AlRawi enjoying space on the left to score in the corner.


1 Jerome Yates

5 Shane Hurley

3 Connor Flanagan

4 Aaron Small

2 Abevia McDonald

6 Alex Deery

7 Phil Lyon

8 Christian Gale

9 Ryan Cane

10 Oliver Bloom

11 Luciano Bejandidze

12 Aston Stephenson

13 Liam O’Callaghan

Subs (all used)

14 Doug Chirnside

18 Reece Rance

22 Anthony Cox

15 Leighton Ball

Tries: Yates (13)

Goals: Lyon 1/1

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