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Brave Scots denied by powerful Bristol

Brave Scots denied by powerful Bristol

London Scottish went down to a 31-18 defeat at the Memorial Ground this afternoon despite a brave backs to the wall effort that only saw the visitors denied a losing bonus point right at the death.

London Scottish went down to a 31-18 defeat at the Memorial Ground this afternoon despite a brave backs to the wall effort that only saw the visitors denied a losing bonus point right at the death.

For long spells of the game Bristol dominated both possession and territory but time and again Scottish fought back impressively and it wasn't until the very last move of the game that the West Country outfit were able to relax as they claimed a four try bonus point win.


Following last week's shock loss against Cornish Pirates, it was no surprise the hosts began on the front foot, controlling possession in the opening quarter.

A combination of excellent Scottish defence and errors by Bristol kept the scoresheet blank during this period before eventually the pressure told on the half hour mark.

After a number of phases inside the Scottish 22, Bristol eventually found an extra man out wide, number eight Marco Mama going over the line to make it 5-0. Adrian Jarvis added the extras to ease the frustrations that had been building in the stands.

Out of nowhere however, the visitors managed to get back on level terms three minutes from half time.

Having secured another turnover on half way, the ball was shipped threw the hands before Jim Thompson chipped the ball into space for Miles Mantella to gather and score in the left hand corner.

Lee Millar levelled matters up with a brilliant kick from the touchline.

It got even better for Scottish having weather the initial storm as Millar nailed a drop goal from distance which eased them into a 10-7 lead at the interval.

The visitors began the second half much better and nearly got over the line for a second try. Jordo Pasqualin delightfully played fly half Millar into space near half way and after he made his way deep into the 22, the ball was fed to MIke Doneghan who was held up right on the line.

They suffered a blow soon after however when Mark Irish was sent to the sin-bin and again Bristol took control of territory.

A thumping tackle by PJ Gidlow on Mama and more last ditch defence from Scottish denied Bristol until the 54th minute when they were awarded a penalty try after James Buckland's men were penalised at a five metre scrum on their own line.

Jarvis added the conversion which made it 14-10.

It got better for Bristol just after the hour mark when James Merriman went over for a third try after the hosts secured useful line-out ball near the Scottish line.

Jarvis's kick opened up a healthy 21-10 lead although Lee Millar reduced this with a penalty on 66 minutes.

Millar completed his full house scoring a try in the right corner finishing off a superb break by Mike Doneghan who cut through the first line of defence 25 metres out.

The former Gala man saw his conversion hit the uprights but at 21-18 Scottish were right back in it and it was no surprise when Bristol finally opted to go for goal from a penalty in the last five minutes to open up a six point gap.

Right on full time Bristol secured themselves a try bonus point as Glen Townson scampered over from close range, a score which also denied Scottish a deserved losing bonus point.

Stand-off Jarvis ended the game with another successful conversion giving his side a 31-18 victory which was anything but comfortable.

Listen to James Buckland's post match reaction here

Bristol: 15, Adam D’Arcy; 14, Charlie Amesbury; 13, Andy Short; 12, Luke Eves; 11, Ryan Edwards; 10, Adrian Jarvis; 9, James Grindal (c); 1, Kyle Traynor; 2, Ollie Hayes; 3, Jason Hobson;, 4 Ben Skirving; 5, Mark Sorenson; 6, Nick Koster; 7, James Merriman; 8, Marco Mama.

Replacements: 22, Ben Mosses, 20, Ruki Tipuna, 17, James Hall; 18, Glen Townson; 19, Redford Pennycook, 16, Rhys Lawrence 17, James Hall; 21, Tristan Roberts.

Scorers: Try: Penalty try, Merriman, Townson, Mamma. Conversion: Jarvis (4). Penalty: Jarvis.

London Scottish: 15, Jim Thompson, 14, Mike Doneghan, 13, Oli Grove, 12 PJ Gidlow, 11, Miles Mantella, 10, Lee Millar, 9, Jordi Pasqualin; 1, Mark Irish, 2, Ted Stagg, 3, Eric Fry, 4, Neil Best, 5, David Lyons, 6, Chevvy Pennycook, 7, Ben Russell, 8, Mark Bright (c).

Sin-bin: Mark Irish.

Used replacements: 17, Nick Mayhew, 16, Harry Allen, 18, Lewis Thiede, 20, Joe Trayfoot, 21, Jamie Stevenson, 22, Andy Reay, 19, Alex Karonias

Scorers: Try: Millar, Mantella. Conversion: Millar. Penalty: Millar. Drop Goal: Millar.

Attendance: 5,320.

Full match day statistics will be posted here shortly.

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