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LONDON SCOTTISH BACK TO WINNING WAYS AGAINST NUNEATON

London Scottish put the disappointment of last weekend's home defeat in the top-of-the-table clash against league leaders Esher behind them to record an emphatic five-try win against Nuneaton at Liberty Way yesterday, with much of the damage done either side of the interval after a sin-binning had reduced the hosts to 14 men.

London Scottish put the disappointment of last weekend’s home defeat in the top-of-the-table clash against league leaders Esher behind them to record an emphatic five-try win against Nuneaton at Liberty Way yesterday, with much of the damage done either side of the interval after a sin-binning had reduced the hosts to 14 men.

A waterlogged main pitch at the ground that the hosts share with Nuneaton Borough FC meant that through no fault of their own they were forced to switch to another playing field that brought to mind some of the smaller venues Scottish have visited in their climb up the league ladder over the past decade, with the trailer of an articulated lorry pressed into service as a temporary grandstand.

MPU

Despite that, Scottish adapted to the conditions commendably, their pack dominating the opening 40 minutes as the hosts struggled to get out of their own half, and the visitors’ first two tries reflected the way their forwards had imposed themselves on the game.

The first of those tries came on 23 minutes when flanker Tom Standfield drove over, although full back Frankie Neale, who had scored an early penalty kick to open the visitors’ account, missed the target with his conversion attempt, leaving the score at 8-0.

Nuneaton had given away a string of penalties during the first half as they fought hard to stem the Scottish onslaught and only some spirited last-ditch defending and handling errors in the visitors’ back line prevented further scoring.

But on 38 minutes, the hosts were punished for their indiscipline when prop Tim Pickard received a yellow card and Scottish seized the opportunity of their temporary advantage in numbers to put the game beyond Nuneaton’s reach.

By half time, second row Alex Karonias had got on the score sheet following another drive from the Scottish pack, and this time Neale made no mistake to put his side in 15-0 ahead at the interval.

Then, in the opening two minutes of the second half, Scottish scored two more tries, sealing the bonus point, courtesy of wingers Charlie Broughton and David Howells, both of whom had excellent games as did centre Rory Damant, and Neale converted one of those to make it 27-0.

Scottish completed their scoring on 52 minutes, when Nuneaton were again punished for their lack of discipline, referee Ross Campbell awarding a penalty try which Neale converted.

Late on, a series of substitutions in the Nuneaton ranks injected fresh energy into the home side, and they were rewarded with tries, neither of them converted, from lock forward Dan Hurst and winger Jim Macdonald, although those came too late to prevent what turned out to be a comfortable Scottish victory.

With second-placed Launceston losing 24-25 at home to Newbury, although the Cornishmen claimed a bonus point, and Cambridge, third in the table, also tasting defeat yesterday, going down 20-17 at home to Tynedale, victory helped Scottish consolidate their second place in National League 1, seven points ahead of the Cornish All Blacks and five behind Esher, who thrashed Stourbridge 89-0.

Next week, Scottish host Blaydon at the Athletic Ground in a match that kicks off at 3pm. The Tyneside outfit lies ninth in the table following their six-try mauling of Redruth in a 42-10 victory yesterday. However, Scottish fans will be looking forward to a win to celebrate at that evening’s annual Burns Supper at the Athletic Ground, tickets for which have sold out.

Home Team
Nuneaton 10 (Tries:Hurst, Moore)
Away Team
London Scottish 34 (Tries: Standfield, Karonias, Broughton, Howells, penalty try; Conversion: Neale (3); Penalty: Neale)
Home Team
Nuneaton: Moore, Cave, A Taylor, Douglas, MacDonald, Poulton, Thomas, J Taylor, Coltman, Pickard, Hurst, Griffiths, Smith, Critchley, Dalsh (Replacements: Woodfield, McDonald, Ashton, Avant, Denning).
Away Team
London Scottish: Neale, Broughton, Damant, Trueman (capt), Howells, Brown (J), Amor, Johnson, Standfield, Fahey, Karonias, Fullarton, Ball, Lonergan, Lipp (Replacements: Smith, Grant, Silvester, McInroy, Graham).
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