North Wales Crusaders put London Skolars to the sword

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

The latest rugby league news (pic: Mike Egerton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Betfred League One: London Skolars 28 North Wales Crusaders 36

London Skolars lost ground on the side directly above them in the league table. Having drawn against the Crusaders in Wrexham at the start of the season, they let slip their half-time lead.

They had gone ahead early when prop Michael Greenhalgh went over from dummy half after Charlie Lawrence had gone close. He nearly scored again soon afterwards, but Crusaders scored at the other end when Jack Houghton finished off a Joe Lyons break.

Neil Thorman’s found touch from the kick-off and the next two sets of possession saw Skolars going close. First, Eddie Mbaraga was bundled into touch on the right with the line in sight, then youngster Olly Partington, on loan from Wigan, was held up over the tryline. Crusaders held out and went ahead when Houghton collected a palm back by Earl Hurst from a high kick.

Skolars went back into the lead after another Wigan loanee, Sami Kibula, pushed his way through the defence under the posts. They scored again on the next set, player coach Jermaine Coleman kicking Crossfield from the right for Lameck Juma go in at the corner.

The visitors levelled the scores after half-time, Simon Atherton stretching out to ground the ball on the tryline. Skolars gave away a series of penalties and North Wales took advantage with Alex Thompson forcing his way over the line. Just before the hourmark, Crusaders moved the ball across the line before a short inside pass found Tommy Johnson coming into the attack at speed and he shot past the defence to score.

Skolars narrowed the gap when Lamont Bryan barged over. Bryan was adjudged offside as he gathered the ball up after Skolars had dislodged the ball from Ryan Smith’s grasp. Johnson’s penalty put the visitors further ahead.

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Bryan made some amends, forcing a drop-out with his chip kick, but Juma was pushed into the touch as he brought the ball back. Kenny Baker went over after Skolars conceded yet another penalty. Sami Kibula showed some good footballing skills, twice kicking on a loose ball before touching down for a late consolation try.

Skolars play Welsh opposition again this weekend, travelling to Llanelli to take on West Wales Raiders.