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Scots run out of time as thrilling comeback falls just short in classic against Jersey

Scots run out of time as thrilling comeback falls just short in classic against Jersey

London Scottish produced a stunning second half display but were beaten by the clock as they came up just short in a thrilling match at the Athletic Ground.

London Scottish produced a stunning second half display but were beaten by the clock as they came up just short in a thrilling match at the Athletic Ground.

Jersey were rampant in the first half and had a huge 31-7 lead at the break but the Scots came out flying and four tries had them within a score but they ran out of time and suffered an exhausting 33-37 defeat, having to settle for two bonus points. 


The visitors were dominant in every aspect of the first half in particular the scrum, which is how they scored their first try after just six minutes.

They had the put-in five metres from the line, and Simon Kerrod drove over from the base to open the scoring. Sam Katz converted and then kicked a penalty three minutes later to give his side a 10-0 lead. 

The Reds scored their second on the 15 minute mark, when a break straight through the middle saw the last defender drawn in, and allowed Kieran Hardy to run in unattended to score under the posts. 

Scottish had barely touched the ball, and before they got the chance to look for some territory it was Jersey who scored their third try. After a succession of penalties they edged closer to the line, and eventually it was Kerrod who drove over from the maul for his second of the match, with Katz’ conversion giving them a 24-0 lead with just 21 minutes on the clock. 

The Scots responded with a try of the season contender from Jamie Stevenson to get themselves back in to the match. Robbie Fergusson gathered his own grubber kick from the 22 to offload to Jason Harries, who then passed on to Ross Neal. The centre drew in the defender and passed to Stevenson who ran in from 20 metres to spark his side in to life. Pete Lydon converted to cut the deficit to 7-24.

The hosts struggled in the set-piece and saw Grant Shiells sent to the sin-bin before then Reds wrapped up the bonus point score with a close range try from Dave McKern. Katz converted, and gave Jersey a 31-7 lead at half time, in front of a stunned 1371 in attendance. 

After a tough team talk the Scots came out and performed arguably their best 40 minutes of the season to date in attempt to salvage the match.

The introduction of Ewan McQuillin gave Scottish the front-foot in the scrum, and Dave Cherry got the comeback started with a try on 50 minutes. A rolling maul powered towards the line, and for the eighth time this season he went over the line to score to cut the gap to 12-31. 

Gary Graham was shown a yellow card for the visitors, and the Scots capitalised on the numerical advantage to get back in to the game. 

Jason Harries went over for the third try from a rolling maul in the corner just before the hour mark, with Lydon’s touchline conversion bringing Scottish to within 12 points of the Channel Islanders. 

Katz kicked a much-needed penalty for the visitors from the restart to edge them 19-34 ahead, but the Scots refused to lie down and responded with an outstanding try from Pete Lydon which secured the four-try bonus point.

Some loose passes in the midfield stretched the Jersey defence, before Lydon saw a gap and burst through it to sprint clear from 35 metres and dive over the line. He converted his score to bring the Scots within eight. 

By this point all the rugby was being played by the home side who were rampant, and Harries scored his second of the match with four minutes remaining to set up a thrilling finish. 
The ball went through a number of phases deep in the Jersey 22, before being spun wide to the Welsh winger who scored in the corner. Lydon again converted from the touchline, making the score 33-34. 

Jersey earned a penalty from the re-start which killed some of the momentum and extended their lead to 33-37, but there was still a minute on the clock as the Scots searched for a famous victory. 

Scottish kept plugging away at the Jersey defence but ultimately ran out of time and had to settle for two bonus points after a truly extraordinary match in Richmond saw Jersey edge out 37-33 winners.

London Scottish: 
15 Peter Lydon 14 Alec Coombes 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Ross Neal 11 Jason Harries 10 George Cullen 9 Jamie Stevenson (replaced by Ed Hoadley) 1 Grant Shiells (replaced by Jonny Harris) 2 David Cherry (replaced by Matt Williams) 3 Dan Koroi (replaced by Ewan McQuillin) 4 Rory Bartle (c) 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (replaced by Alex Woolford) 6 Ifereimi Boladau (replaced by Joe Atkinson) 7 Danny Kenny 8 Ally Miller

16 Matt Williams 17 Jonny Harris 18 Ewan McQuillin 19 Alex Woolford 20 Joe Atkinson 21 Ed Hoadley  22 Harry Sheppard

Tries: Jamie Stevenson (26 minutes) David Cherry (49 minutes) Jason Harries (58, 79 minutes) Peter Lydon (65 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (26, 58, 65, 79 minutes)
Yellow Card: Grant Shiells

Jersey Reds: 
15 Sam Katz 14 George Watkins 13 Jordan Davies 12 Kuki Ma’afu 11 Nick Scott 10 Callum Sheedy 9 Kieran Hardy 1 Jake Woolmore 2 Joe Buckle 3 Simon Kerrod 4 Pierce Phillips 5 Dave McKern 6 James Freeman (c) 7 Gary Graham 8 Nick Haining

Jack Macfarlane, Sean McCarthy, Jake Armstrong, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Max Argyle; Joel Dudley, Lewis Robling.

Tries: Simon Kerrod (6, 20 minutes) Kieran Hardy (13 minutes) Dave McKern (32 minutes)
Conversions: Sam Katz (6, 13, 20, 32 minutes)
Penalties: Sam Katz (10, 62, 80 minutes)
Yellow Card: Gary Graham

Referee: Greg Macdonald
Assistant Referees: Brian Ravenhill & Roy Maybank
Fourth Official: Dan Parrott

Man of the match: Rory Bartle

Attendance: 1371

Half Time Score: London Scottish 7 – 31 Jersey Reds 


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