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North Wales Crusaders 24 London Skolars 24: Late penalty secures Skolars draw in Betfred League One opener

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 February 2018

The latest rugby league news (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

The latest rugby league news (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Betfred League One: North Wales Crusaders 24 London Skolars 24

London Skolars drew 24-24 at North Wales Crustaders in their opening game of the season in Betfred League One.

The visitors left if late to get something out of the game, kicking a penalty goal to level the scores with just nine seconds of the game remaining.

Both sides gave away several penalties early on and Skolars found themselves a man down when Mike Bishay was sin-binned for holding down.

However, as Crusaders threw the ball wide to expose a gap, Omari Caro intercepted a pass in his own half and he pulled away from the chasing defence to score under the posts, with Charlie Lawrence adding the conversion.

Alex Thompson’s try levelled the scores for North Wales, but with Bishay having just returned to the field, Jy-Mel Coleman put in a short pass to Lamont Bryan who blasted his way to the line for a converted try.

Two tries for Crusaders in the last seven minutes of the first half put them six 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.

London came back with a try early in the second half when prop Rob Butler crossed from close range. However, the Welsh side went ahead again when Ryan Smith darted down the right without a defender getting to close to him.

The gap was narrowed to two points when Caro put a long pass out to Elliott Hall, who had moved out to the left wing, but Coleman missed the difficult conversion.

Skolars were put under pressure when they conceded a goal-line drop out, but regained possession when the restart kick found touch.

North Wales had a chance to extend the lead when they were awarded a penalty 10 metres out, but decided to run the ball and, when they lost possession, Skolars moved quickly upfield.

When Bishay was stopped close to the line, they had no hesitated to kick for goal and come away with a league point.

Skolars are back in action on Saturday when they make the long trip to Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup.

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