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Scots leave it late to defeat Rotherham in thrilling fashion

Scots leave it late to defeat Rotherham in thrilling fashion

London Scottish returned to winning ways in the Greene King IPA Championship in breathtaking fashion with a 21-16 victory over Rotherham Titans.

London Scottish returned to winning ways in the Greene King IPA Championship in breathtaking fashion with a 21-16 victory over Rotherham Titans.

The Scots trailed 13-7 heading into the final 10 minutes, but two tries in two minutes from Drew Locke and Oli Grove turned the game on its head and secured a thrilling win over the Titans. 

MPU

In what were incredibly difficult conditions due to the high winds, it wasn’t the most entertaining of matches until it suddenly sprung into life in dramatic fashion, with the Scots securing their first league win since October. 

Scottish flew out of the blocks and scored after just three minutes with Drew Locke’s first try of the match. The Scots had a line-out just outside the 22, and after securing the ball Mark Bright charged through a gap in the defence before offloading to Craig Jackson. The centre got to within touching distance but then found Locke who was able to score under the posts. Lydon’s conversion gave Scottish a 7-0 advantage with three minutes on the clock. 

Rotherham responded shortly afterwards to level the scores. The Titans were camped in the Scottish 22, and Barney Maddison was able to drive over from close range for their only try of the match. James McKinney’s conversion made it 7-7 with eight minutes gone. 

Scottish pressed and had chances through a neat break from George Horne and Drew Locke, but they were eventually bundled in to touch in what was a scrappy first 40 minutes. 

McKinney was successful with a penalty attempt after 32 minutes, giving the Titans a 10-7 half-time advantage. 

The Scots started the second-half equally as quickly as the first, but this time had no points to show for it. A turnover allowed Robbie Fergusson to break clear on the wing, and his grubber forced the Titans to carry the ball over the try-line and secure a five-metre scrum for Scottish. The resulting scrum came to nothing, but the intent was clear for all 884 at the Athletic Ground. 

McKinney’s second penalty stretched the lead to six points on 52 minutes, before the pressure from the Scots finally told after 73 minutes. 

It looked as if another match would be slipping away after the Scots were unable to convert their performance into points, until they came alive with just over five minutes left. 

From a five-metre line-out the forwards got to within inches, and the ball was then spun wide for man-of-the-match Drew Locke to dive over for his second try of the match. 

Peter Lydon faced a huge task to convert from the touchline in the wind, but he struck it cleanly and put the Scots 14-13 ahead.

The third try came in thrilling fashion, and sent the Athletic Ground wild with a try out of the blue. A clearing kick landed in the Rotherham half, and Robbie Fergusson was first to react. The centre stepped a couple of defenders before drawing in the last man, and offloading to Oli Grove who ran under the posts unattended for his second try of the season and Scottish’s third of the night. Lydon again converted, to give them a 21-13 lead. 

McKinney got his third penalty of the afternoon with just two minutes left to cut the gap to five points, but the Scots held on for a thrilling, and much-needed victory before turning their attention back to the British and Irish Cup. 

London Scottish:
15 Peter Lydon 14 Nathan Earle 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Craig Jackson (replaced by Aaron Morris) 11 Drew Locke 10 Oli Grove 9 George Horne 1 James Gibbons (replaced by Kurt Schonert) 2 Adam Kwasnicki (replaced by David Cherry) 3 Matt Shields 4 James Cannon (replaced by Will Carrick Smith) 5 Neale Patrick (replaced by Rory Bartle) 6 Mark Bright (c) 7 Chris Walker 8 Freddie Clarke

Replacements:
16 David Cherry 17 Kurt Schonert 18 Jimmy Litchfield 19 Will Carrick Smith 20 Rory Bartle 21 Matt Heeks 22 Aaron Morris

Scorers:
Tries: Drew Locke (4, 73 minutes) Oli Grove (75 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (4, 73, 75 minutes)

Rotherham Titans:
15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Ben Rath, 13 Lloyd Hayes, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 James McKinney, 9 Andy Davies, 1 Robin Hislop, 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Tom Holmes (c), 5 Toby Salmon (replaced by Tom Calladine), 6 Barney Maddison, 7 Tim Cree, 8 Max Argyle.

Replacements: 
16 Will Crane, 17 Michael Cromie, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 Kyle Gilmour, 20 Tom Calladine, 21 Dan White, 22 Will Goodwin.

Scorers:
Tries: Barney Maddison (7 minutes) 
Conversions: James McKinney (7 minutes)
Penalties: James McKinney (32, 52, 78 minutes)

Officials:
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant Referees: Darryl Chapman & Dino Maddem
Fourth Official: James Sullivan 

Half-Time: London Scottish 7 – 10 Rotherham Titans

Full-Time: London Scottish 21 – 16 Rotherham Titans

Attendance: 884

Man-Of-The-Match: Drew Locke 

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