London Skolars fail to close the gap on play-off places

Jordan Wilson powers forward for London Skolars (pic Ben Challis)

Jordan Wilson powers forward for London Skolars (pic Ben Challis) - Credit: Archant

London Skolars missed out on a chance to catch the pack of sides on the fringes of the play-offs spots, losing after Coventry Bears kicked a penalty goal two minutes before full-time.

Lameck Juma returned from suspension and opened the scoring after being alert to pick up a loose ball from high kick from Neil Thorman to touchdown.

They then had a good spell of possession and three penalties in quick succession, but chose to kick for goal when in range, but Neil Thorman missed from 15 metres out.

Max Clarke was held up over the line and Thorman didn’t miss when they were awarded another penalty.

Coventry improved their discipline and the next seven penalties went their way before they were penalised again

They opened their scoring when Liam Welham darted through the defence to score with ease.

After a stoppage which saw Elliot Townsend helped off the field, Peter Ryan was held up over the line and a forward pass ruled out another Bears move close to the tryline.

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The Bears had a further set for a Skolars infringement and Dave Scott stretched out through the defence to score, Dan Coates adding his second conversion of the afternoon as the Bears took the lead for the first time.

That lead didn’t last long, Juma scoring his second try when he was first to get to Thomas kick to the left corner.

Thorman missed a difficult conversion, but the next minute summed up much of the second half. The Bears kick off went five metres over the deadball line, but Skolars’ penalty failed to find touch.

Thomas kicked well, his kick deep into in-goal saw a good chase from Thorman Nathan Hill losing possession as he tried to get over the line, but the referee adjudged a strip and the Bears had a relieving penalty.

When they got close to the tryline, the pass setting-up a potential drop-goal wasn’t clean. The resultant passing to the right saw Williams bundled into touch.

After Peter Ryan was sin-binned for a tip tackle with five minutes remaining, Skolars had a chance for a drop-goal, but with no one looking out for Thomas, who was well-positioned, they moved the ball to the right and Kam Pearce-Paul was bundled into touch.

Coventry advanced upfield and were awarded a penalty, five metres into the Skolars’ half.

Coates effort went wide, but a late hit by Aaron Small when they got the ball back gave him a second chance, the half-back succeeding this time from slightly closer but slightly wider.