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LONDON SCOTTISH COMEBACK HELPS CLOSE GAP ON ESHER

London Scottish came back from being 14-6 down to beat Otley 37-14 at the Athletic Ground yesterday to clock up their seventh successive victory in National League 1. With five tries scored, the hosts sealed the bonus point to help narrow the gap on lead leaders Esher, who beat Launceston 10-6 away from home, to four points. Full back Frankie Neale continued his great kicking form this season, getting three points on the board for Scottish with a third minute penalty, but it was the visitors that scored the game's opening try a couple of minutes later through flanker Chris Walker, with fly half Simon Brown adding the conversion to put Otley 7-3 ahead.

London Scottish came back from being 14-6 down to beat Otley 37-14 at the Athletic Ground yesterday to clock up their seventh successive victory in National League 1. With five tries scored, the hosts sealed the bonus point to help narrow the gap on lead leaders Esher, who beat Launceston 10-6 away from home, to four points. Full back Frankie Neale continued his great kicking form this season, getting three points on the board for Scottish with a third minute penalty, but it was the visitors that scored the game’s opening try a couple of minutes later through flanker Chris Walker, with fly half Simon Brown adding the conversion to put Otley 7-3 ahead.

A second Neale penalty in the tenth minute from all of 40 yards narrowed the gap to just one point, but it was Otley that dominated the first quarter despite playing against the wind, adapting to the conditions better in the opening exchanges. The Leeds side duly got their reward on 23 minutes when winger Mark Kirby went over. Again, Brown added the conversion, putting the visitors 14-6 ahead, but that was to be the high spot of their afternoon.

MPU

Scottish clearly had a fight on their hands, and the side rose to the challenge magnificently, the comeback starting in earnest on 33 minutes when Neale took his points tally for the afternoon into double figures, although his conversion attempt went astray. Five minutes later, however, the full back made amends, kicking over to claim the two extra points following a try from centre Ian McInroy to put Scottish back ahead with an 18-14 lead.

That was the final score of the first half, but it didn’t take long after the interval for the home side to extend their lead, with some great interplay among the backs creating a chance for David Howells, which the winger eagerly seized to cross over in the corner. Again, Neale’s aim was unerring, his kick giving Scottish an 11-point cushion.

Howells added his second try of the afternoon as the game drew to a close, and skipper Gary Trueman had already sealed the bonus point through a 72nd-minute try to complete a flowing passing move. Neale converted both to make the final score 37-14 to the hosts.

Following a break in action next week, Scottish will host Stourbridge at the Athletic Ground on Saturday 28 November with kick-off at 3pm. The same afternoon sees Esher travel to Otley.

Home Team
London Scottish: 37 (Tries: Neale, McInroy, Howells (2), Trueman; Conversions: Neale (4); Neale (2))
Away Team
Otley: 14 (Tries:Walker, Kirby; Conversions: Brown (2))
Home Team
London Scottish: Neale, Broughton, McInroy, Trueman (capt), Howells, Brown (J), Amor, Johnson (M), Standfield, Fahey, Karonias, Palmer, Ball, Lonergan, Lipp (Replacements: Silvester, Johnson (C), Volley, Grant, Damant).
Away Team
Otley: Georgiou, Danton, Gill, Hough, Kirby, Brown (S), Depledge, Zeiss, Steele, Blades, Parr, Quinn, Watson, Walker, Stedman (Replacements: Moss, Hamill, Costello, Gardner, Murray).
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