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Scottish Slip To Muddy Defeat To Plymouth

Scottish Slip To Muddy Defeat To Plymouth

London Scottish slipped to a second successive defeat as they were defeated 9-16 by Plymouth Albion in atrocious weather conditions at the Athletic Ground.

London Scottish slipped to a second successive defeat as they were defeated 9-16 by Plymouth Albion in atrocious weather conditions at the Athletic Ground.

In a game that was dominated by the weather and where nearly all 44 participating players were caked in mud from start to finish, a converted try from Plymouth's Aaron Carpenter was the difference between the two sides.


Declan Cusack and James Love had traded three penalties each, with Carpenter's effort coming at the end of a period of strong pressure from the Albion forwards on the Scottish line. The home side mounted a second half comeback and spent huge periods of the second half camped on the Plymouth try-line but the visitors defended for their lives and Scottish couldn't break down the wall.

Appalling weather conditions had blighted much of the sporting schedule for the day across the country but, despite a covering of snow in the morning, the game at the Athletic Ground was never in danger of not taking place. It would, however, be played in particularly gruesome conditions and it was evident from the first minute that this would not be a pretty affair.

The early stages of the match were packed full of pick and drives, as well as a fair few handling errors, and Cusack kicked Plymouth into the lead with a simple penalty in the first ten minutes. Love then had a chance to level the scores minutes later but, facing into the horizontally-driving snow, his effort faded wide to the right. His second attempt came soon after, this time from much closer, and he made no mistake to draw Scottish level.

They traded penalties within a short space of each other again on the half hour before Carpenter grabbed his try.  Plymouth drove into the Scottish 22 from an attacking line-out and, from there, they were able to work the phases and dive over for the score. Cusack converted and then added another penalty to extend his side's lead to 6-16.

It was important that Scottish got on the board first in the second half and Love's penalty in the 44th minute cut the deficit to seven points. From then on, it was all Scottish. Jim Thompson sent an excellent grubber into the Albion 22, which was well chased by David Howells. Scottish then turned the ball over and set up camp for an excruciatingly long period of pick and drives. 

They were mere inches short of the line several times, with Chevvy Pennycook carrying strongly and going agonisingly close. Scottish won several penalties but their attacking ambition demanded that they leave the three points and keep trying for the line. Mark Bright showed some captain's initiative as twice he took quick tap penalties to get Scottish moving. But, try as they might and with Albion down to 14 men after Bevon Armitage's sinbinning, Scottish couldn't break through.

Phil Godman came on from the bench to try and spark an attacking resurgence and, despite taking a monster hit from an onrushing Albion defender, he managed to work an opening for Howells. The winger showed excellent hands and was just about to release Oli Grove on the wing but the ball was knocked on and one sensed Scottish's chances were diminishing.

With the clock ticking down, Albion stole the ball, kicked long downfield and into touch and the referee's final whistle brought ecstatic cheers from the traveling Plymouth contingent, as the result secured their Championship safety for another season.

London Scottish's next match is away to Moseley at Billesley Common on Saturday 30th March. Our next and final home match of the season is against Bristol on Saturday 13th April. It's going to be an incredibly busy day at the Athletic Ground so book your tickets online now!

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