21st February 2023

BetFred League 1 – 18th February 2023

London Skolars 16 Workington Town 58


Skolars first league game of the year saw them suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of a Workington side relegated from the Championship last season.


On a blustery day, the Cumbrian side made good use of the wind in their favour right from the start, gaining a goal-line drop-out as Skolars failed to prevent the kick-off bouncing over the dead-ball line. They forced a second drop-out from their next set, before Tom Curwen received the ball from Matty Henson at dummy half to go over by the posts.


They scored two more tries in quick succession. Fergus Simpson broke down the right for Max Moore to go over in the corner, followed three minutes later by Jordan cutting through the defence with ease.


Skolars showed some promise in attack, but too often they started their sets deep in their own half. They opened their scoring when Liam O’Callaghan went over from dummy half and had a good chance to narrow the deficit further after a penalty on the sixth tackle twenty metres from the tryline. However, they lost the ball on the first tackle and Workington counterattacked with Malik Steele touching down.


After Ciaran Walker’s try attempt was ruled out for a double movement, Skolars’ penalty failed to find touch and they were under pressure again. Joe Kirkup pushed his way over the line and the visitors scored again two minutes later when Jason Mossop slipped the ball out to Moore for his second try. The hooter sounded seconds after. Walker missed a difficult touchline conversion, his only miss in the afternoon.


Skolars gained possession early in the second half as Town lost the ball on the first tackle. Alex Deery drew in the left defence giving Jerome Yates space to go over by the cornerflag. However, Town made good use of the wind blowing against them with a high kick blowing back into the on-coming attack from the kick-off, allowing them to gain possession, with Kirkup scoring his second try. Three minutes later Simpson went over after a good run from Caine Barnes. Burns then broke the defence just inside Skolar’s half, with Sean Sabutey continuing the move and Ethan Bickerdike finishing off as Town hit the half-century. Skolars misjudged the wind when on a sixth tackle kick deep int the opposition half and were punished as Town moved the ball cross-field for Barnes to score.


Skolars scored the final points of the game when Deery got a hand to Shane Lee’s chip, re-gathering the ball in the air as he continued his run to the line.



1 Louis O’Sullivan

5 Jerome Yates

3 Alex Deery

4 Aaron Small

2 Leighton Ball

6 Shane Lee

7 Jack Ryan

8 Lamont Bryan

18 Liam O’Callaghan

15 Todd Peut

11 Luciano Bejanidze

12 Jimmy Morgan

13 Matt Ross


Subs (all used)

9 Elliott Hutchings

21 Anthony Cox

10 Delaine Bedward-Gittens

19 Fraser Piercy-Farley


Tries: O’Callaghan (18), Yates (42), Deery (78)

Goals: Ryan 1/2, Lee 1/1



1 Jordan Burns

19 Max Moore

4 Jason Mossop

5 Ethan Bickerdike

2 Sean Sabutey

6 Ciaran Walker

15 Fergus Simpson

8 Jordan Thomson

9 Matty Henson

13 Tom Curwen

12 Caine Barnes

11 Malik Steele

10 Steve Scholey


Subs (all used)

16 JJ Key

17 Joe Kirkup

14 Blain Marwood

20 Jack Stephenson


Tries: Curwen (3), Moore (10,40), Burns (13), Steele (26), Kirkup (38,45), Simpson (48), Bickerdike (52), Barnes (65)

Goals: Walker 9/10


Penalty count: 6-5


Half-time: 6-34

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Att: 264


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12. 0-18. 6-18, 6-24, 6-30, 6-34; 10-34, 10-40, 10-46, 10-52, 10-58, 16-58

By Andrew Jackson

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