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Late penalty try denies Scottish victory in Jersey

Late penalty try denies Scottish victory in Jersey

London Scottish suffered late heartbreak, as Jersey scored a 78th minute penalty try to secure a 22-20 win, and deny the Scots what would have been a memorable victory at St. Peter's.

London Scottish suffered late heartbreak, as Jersey scored a 78th minute penalty try to secure a 22-20 win, and deny the Scots what would have been a memorable victory at St. Peter’s.

The Scots produced one of their most impressive performances of the 15/16 season to go within touching distance of getting the win, but despite leading 17-7 they were unable to close out an outstanding display. 


The match got off to the worst possible start, with Jersey scoring in the first minute almost straight from the kick-off. A number of quick passes allowed them to unlock the Scottish defence, and Oli Evans was on the end of a sweeping move to score under the posts. Aaron Penberthy’s conversion gave the hosts a dream start, and a 7-0 lead. 

Scottish responded on the 10 minute mark, with Jason Harries’ seventh try of the season. Robbie Fergusson made the initial break in the middle of the pitch, and the referee gave the Scots a penalty close to the line. They opted for the quick tap, and Harries was on hand to dive over in the corner. Peter Lydon’s touchline conversion brought the score to 7-7.

Just a minute later Scottish crossed the line again to take the lead. Harries made a huge tackle and gathered the ball, his pace looked like he could escape from the defenders, but after he was hauled down Fergusson was on hand to score under the posts. Lydon again converted, with the Scots going 14-7 ahead. 

Scottish were on top of the territory battle in the first-half, and the combined boots of Lydon, Aaron Morris and Sam Smith were making sure that Jersey were pinned back in their 22. 

On the 30-minute-mark Harries, who was in inspired form burst through the line of defence and found Mark Bright in acres of space, but the captain’s pass wasn’t gathered. The referee then went back for a penalty, and Lydon was successful to extend the lead to 17-7. 

Jersey got themselves back in to the match as the clock ticked towards half time. The ball went loose from the base of a scrum, and Rich Lane pounced on it and ran clear to score their second try of the afternoon. Penberthy’s conversion went wide, but he was successful with a penalty on the stroke of half-time, to ensure that his side only trailed 15-17 at the break. 

Scottish started the second-half with another penalty from Lydon to edge further ahead. A huge shove from the scrum meant that the Scots turned one against the head, and the Irishman made no mistake from 40 metres out. 

The hosts then started to increase the pressure, and nearly scored with 20 minutes to play. An interception saw them race away, but Fergusson and Lee Millar, who was making his 50th appearance for the Scots were able to scramble back and clear the danger. 

Jersey then had a series of penalties which all resulted in five-metre lineouts, and tested the Scottish defence to the maximum. They stood firm until there were just moments left, when the pressure eventually told. 

The forwards were driving over the line from a maul, and Darren Gamage saw no option but to go under the sticks and award a penalty try to the delight of the 2460 in the crowd. Penberthy’s conversion gave them a decisive 22-20 lead.

There was still time for the restart, and Harries made another break, but after giving George Horne the ball on his inside approaching the 22, the scrum-half was brought down controversially. With play waved on, Jersey smashed the ball in to touch and celebrated a hard-fought victory.

The Scots now turn their attention to a huge challenge next weekend, when they welcome table-toppers Bristol to the Athletic Ground. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased here.

15 Aaron Penberthy 14 Ross Adair  (replaced by Mark McCrea) 13 Oli Evans 12 Lewis Robling 11 Rich Lane 10 Brendan Cope 9 Joel Dudley 1 Nacho Lancuba (replaced by Sean McCarthy) 2 Joe Buckle 3 Danny Herriott 4 Nick Campbell 5 Pierce Phillips 6 Alex Rae (c) 7 James Freeman 8 Nick Haining (replaced by Gary Graham)

16 Sean McCarthy 17 Martin Garcia-Veiga 18 Simon Kerrod 19 Uili Kolo’afa’i 20 Gary Graham 21 Jack Moates 22 Mark McCrea 

Tries: Oli Evans (1 minute) Rich Lane (33 minutes) Penalty Try (76 minutes)
Conversions: Aaron Penberthy (1, 77 minutes)
Penalty: Aaron Penberthy (39 minutes)

London Scottish:
15 Aaron Morris 14 Jason Harries 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Oli Grove (replaced by Lee Millar- 50th cap) 11 Sam Smith 10 Peter Lydon 9 Matt Heeks (replaced by George Horne) 1 Jack Cosgrove (replaced by James Hallam) 2 David Cherry (replaced by Tyrone Moran) 3 Matt Shields (replaced by Max Maidment) 4 Rory Bartle (replaced by Kieran Treadwell) 5 Josh Thomas Brown 6 Evan Olmstead 7 Alex Brown 8 Mark Bright (c)

16 Tyrone Moran 17 James Hallam 18 Max Maidment 19 Kieran Treadwell 20 Lee Millar 21 George Horne 22 Howard Packman

Tries: Jason Harries (13 minutes) Robbie Fergusson (14 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (13, 14 minutes)
Penalties: Peter Lydon (31, 45 minutes)

Referee: Darren Gamage
Assistant Referees: Christophe Ridley & Darryl Chapman
Fourth Official: Tim Bailey

Half-Time: Jersey 15 – 17 London Scottish

Full-Time: Jersey 22 – 20 London Scottish

Attendance: 2460



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