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Scots denied dramatic draw as Cardiff snatch victory at the death

Scots denied dramatic draw as Cardiff snatch victory at the death

London Scottish were denied what would have been a deserved draw after a dramatic comeback ended with a last gasp 24-21 victory for Cardiff Blues Premiership Select.

London Scottish were denied what would have been a deserved draw after a dramatic comeback ended with a last gasp 24-21 victory for Cardiff Blues Premiership Select.

The Scots trailed 7-21 with 10 minutes left but two tries in the last few minutes brought them back on level terms, only for Jarrod Evans to keep his nerve and his penalty with the last kick of the match snatched victory for the visitors. 

MPU

It was a memorable night at the Athletic Ground as a number of London Scottish Academy players made their debut for the first team as the British and Irish Cup pool stages came to an end, but it was Cardiff who would strike first. 

Aled Summerhill was first to pounce on a loose ball inside the Scottish 22, which allowed the full-back to gather and score in the corner for the first try of the match. Jarrod Evans, who kicked impressively all evening converted to give his side a 7-0 lead.

James Beal was then shown a yellow card for the visitors for stopping a quick penalty, and the Scots took full advantage with a try just two minutes later. 

From the base of a line out the ball went to the hands of George Cullen, and his flat pass allowed debutant Connor Hayhow to run straight through the defence and dive over the line to get the Scots back on level terms. 

Scottish had plenty of possession but a number of handling errors were costing them the chance to go in front, and the visitors responded with two tries before half time to take control of the match. 

Cardiff had sustained pressure in the 22, and scrum-half Pele Cowley dotted the ball down from the base of a ruck to edge the Welsh side in front on the 20 minute mark. 

That lead was then extended to 21-7 with Cardiff’s third try of the evening. A penalty was taken quickly by prop Ben Leung and he used all of his power to charge through the defence and score under the posts as the visitors started to pull away. 

Leung was then sent to the sin-bin before the break for bringing down a rolling maul that was heading towards the try-line, and Cardiff survived the following attack which saw Matt Williams go within inches of scoring to head down the tunnel with a 21-7 advantage. 

Man-of-the-match Dom McGeekie nearly gave the Scots the perfect start to the second-half, as the ball spat out of the side of a ruck the second-row was first to react and he ran clear, but the referee brought play back for an earlier infringement.

Craig Holland then sliced through the defence on the hour mark and drew in the last defender before offloading to McGeekie who was denied by a last ditch tackle, as the hosts became increasingly frustrated by their inability to convert pressure in to points. 

However with 10 minutes remaining the match sparked in to life, with a brilliant try from Craig Holland. Tom Galbraith took a quick penalty inside the Scottish 22 before punting upfield. The centre then showed impressive pace to gather his own kick and offload to Holland who was clear and scored under the posts. The full-back converted his own try to cut the deficit to 14-21. 

With just two minutes remaining it looked like the clock was against the Scots, but replacement scrum-half Josh Barton had other ideas. With Scottish inside the Cardiff 22, the academy player dummied and took the whole defence by surprise, allowing him to race clear and dive under the posts to send the Athletic Ground in to huge celebration. Peter Lydon converted, and with just one minute remaining it looked as if the Scots had salvaged an unlikely draw. 

From the re-start the Scots looked to go one further and win the match, but were guilty of over-playing and were penalised giving Cardiff the chance to snatch victory. Evans kicked successfully, giving the Welsh team a hard-fought and dramatic 24-21 win. 

Scottish now turn their attention back to the Greene King IPA Championship, and face neighbours Richmond next Saturday in the second Athletic Ground derby of the season. 

London Scottish:
15 Craig Holland 14 Matt Williams 13 Connor Hayhow 12 Tom Galbraith 11 Ben Rath 10 George Cullen (replaced by Peter Lydon) 9 Aaron Booth (replaced by Josh Barton) 1 Grant Shiells (replaced by Alex Watts) 2 Dan Koroi (replaced by Dean Brooker) 3 Phil Cringle 4 Rory Bartle (c) 5 Dom McGeekie 6 Alec Coombes 7 Joe Atkinson 8 Matt Marley 

Replacements:
16 Dean Brooker 17 Alex Watts 18 George Shannon 19 Angus Adamson 20 Josh Barton 21 Jamie Urquart 22 Peter Lydon

Scorers:
Tries: Connor Hayhow (11 minutes) Craig Holland (72 minutes) Josh Barton (79 minutes)
Conversions: George Cullen (11 minutes) Craig Holland (72 minutes) Peter Lydon (79 minutes) 

Cardiff Blues Premiership Select:
15 Aled Summerhill 14 James Beal 13 Harri Millard 12 Garyn Smith 11 Ollie Smyth 10 Jarrod Evans 9 Pele Cowley 1 Tom Mably (replaced by Lewis Jones) 2 Ethan Lewis (c) 3 Ben Leung 4 Seb Davies 5 James Down 6 Joe Gaughan 7 Owen Jones 8 James Sheekey (replaced by Liam Belcher)

Replacements:
16 Liam Belcher 17 Lewis Jones 18 Ben Sier 19 Jack Davies 20 Adam Hoskins 21 Declan Williams 22 Dafydd Smith

Scorers: 
Tries: Aled Summerhill (5 minutes) Pele Cowley (21 minutes) Ben Leung (28 minutes)
Conversions: Jarrod Evans (5, 21, 28 minutes)
Penalties: Jarrod Evans (80 minutes)
Yellow Cards: James Beal, Ben Leung 

Officials: 
Referee: Calum Howard
Assistant Referees: Simon Adams & Jeff Highcock
Fourth Official: Robbie Bourke 

Man of the match: Dom McGeekie

Half Time Score: London Scottish 7 – 21 Cardiff Blues Premiership Select 

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