London Skolars 14 Whitehaven 28: Late show sees Skolars taught a lesson by Haven
- Credit: Archant
League One: London Skolars 14 Whitehaven 28
London Skolars suffered late heartbreak against Whitehaven in their latest League One outing before shipping eight points in the final three minutes to lose 28-14.
Skolars were in contention until two minutes before the end against the Cumbrian side sitting third in the league, and the hosts will rue their inability to turn possession into points in the first half.
A bold move in the opening minutes of a dramatic start to the game saw Jy-Mel Coleman kick deep from a Skolars scrum on their own 10-metre line.
James Hill won the race to the ball, but was ruled to have been offside, though it appeared to be a marginal call.
Haven had a chance themselves, but after Steven Roper had a made a break, his pass went to ground a metre from the tryline.
Skolars soon got on the scoreboard after a quick set of passes out to the right wing saw Josh Allison brush off the defence to score for the home side.
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London then barged the Marras into touch on the second tackle to give themselves good field position.
Charlie Lawrence put in a short pass to Will Martin, but thanks to Elliot Miller, he lost the ball as we went over the line.
With Skolars attacking regularly, the visitors had some relief from defence after two penalties in quick succession and their player-coach Carl Forster spotted a gap in centrefield and raced through to score.
The response was quick, as a short goal-line drop out by Haven gave Skolars the ball close to the tryline.
Coleman slipped a ball out to Allison, who was quick to get it to Hill who crossed, though his try gave Coleman a second difficult conversion attempt from the tryline. Coleman missed again and Skolars went in just 8-6 ahead at the break.
Forster, in his 100th game for Whitehaven, scored his second try, drawing the defence before pushing over to put his side into the lead.
Skolars had to defend more in the second half, but they nearly scored again and it took a fine tackle by David Thompson to deny Hill a second try.
Papua New Guinea international Jesse Joe Parker opened up a 10-point margin for the visitors when he stepped off his left foot and then strode past the defence with ease.
The Cumbrian outfit then increased that lead with a penalty from Crook.
When Sadiq Adebiyi went over with six minutes remaining, Skolars were able to cut the lead down to six points.
But Forster again was the difference between the two sides, splitting the defence, before slipping the ball to James Newton to touchdown under the posts.
A short kick-off by Skolars did not go 10 metres and the penalty saw Crook’s sixth goal of the afternoon to give the final score a slightly lopsided look.
Skolars travel to Wrexham on Sunday to take on North Wales Crusaders.