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Scottish Go Top

Scottish Go Top

London Scottish went top of National League 1, following their 29 - 11 win, (and nineteenth consecutive victory) against a competitive and lively Cinderford side. Two Tim Holgate tries either side of half time, together with a seventeenth try of the season from David Howells helped secure the bonus point win, which allowed Scottish to take pole-position for the first time this season.

London Scottish went top of National League 1, following their 29 – 11 win, (and nineteenth consecutive victory) against a competitive and lively Cinderford side. Two Tim Holgate tries either side of half time, together with a seventeenth try of the season from David Howells helped secure the bonus point win, which allowed Scottish to take pole-position for the first time this season.

Cinderford kicked off the match, playing towards the park end of the ground on a cold but overcast day. From the start, Scottish made their intentions clear by running the ball straight back at the Cinderford defence. On 12 minutes, the Scottish forwards took the ball well into the Cinderford 22 metre and were held up short. At the subsequent ruck, the Cinderford winger Betty was yellow carded for not releasing a Scottish player who was close to the Cinderford try line. Scottish scrum half Amor took a quick penalty and threw a long pass out to winger Howells for him to score out wide. Fly half Ratford missed the conversion. Howells then went on a mazy run shortly afterwards when he picked up a loose ball. The run took him from inside the Scottish 22 metre to 5 metres short of the Cinderford line, where he was held up.

MPU

The Cinderford cause was further dented, when on 24 minutes hooker Wilkes was yellow carded for deliberately bringing down a driving Scottish ruck and maul. At the subsequent scrum, just short of the Cinderford line, Scottish No 8 Lipp took the ball on the blindside and passed to winger Holgate allowing him to score in the corner. Ratford converted a difficult kick, to leave the score 12 -0 to Scottish. Cinderford opened their account on 34 minutes when Trigg scored with his third penalty attempt. During this phase of the match, Cinderford stepped up their play and put the Scottish defence under pressure in their 22 metre. Scottish were reduced to 14 players shortly before half time, when flanker Calder was yellow carded, however Trigg again missed the penalty attempt. Cinderford finally reduced the score further, when Trigg converted a penalty attempt shortly before the referee blew for half time, leaving the score 12 – 6 to Scottish at the break.

The opening period of the second half was peppered with errors from both sides. As the second half wore on Scottish began to excert greater pressure on the Cinderford defence, especially once they were restored to player parity. After the hour mark, Scottish kicked to the corner after Cinderford had been again penalised as their defence began to give way. A catch and drive took the Scottish forwards was just held up short of the Cinderford line. Wave after wave of Scottish drives were held up as the ball was constantly being re-cycled. Eventually, the Cinderford defence folded and Calder emerged with the ball after being driven over by his fellow forwards. Ratford converted to leave the score 19 – 6. Scottish scored their bonus point fourth try on 70 minutes, which saw Calder picking up a loose ball and going on a strong run down the wing. He eventually off loaded to full back Bordiss, who was on his shoulder and scored out wide. Ratford missed the conversion leaving the score 24 – 6.

Buoyed up by achieving the bonus point, Scottish winger Holgate made the fifth and final try out of nothing. He took the ball close to the Scottish 22 metre line, out on the touch line, after a Cinderford attack was held up and one of their players dropped the ball. Holgate side stepped round two Cinderford players and hugging the touch line raced away towards the Cinderford half, with a number of Cinderford players trailing in his wake. He scored out wide with Ratford missing the conversion. Full credit to Cinderford and their efforts were eventually rewarded shortly before the final whistle when following good backs play winger Betty scored out wide. Trigg missed the conversion to leave the full time score 29 – 11.

Scottish in many parts of this game were required to dig deep to match a resolute Cinderford side, who's current league position would appear to be a false one if yesterday's performance was anything to go by. The nineteenth victory was probably the most sweetest to date, as with league leaders Barking failing to secure their own bonus point away at Blaydon, Scottish took top position in the league heading towards the final quarter of the league season. Next weekend Scottish are away at old rivals Cambridge, who are the top points scorers in the league, and currently sit in a healthy third position. Look out for the match preview later in the week.

Full back John Bordiss was awarded the FirstCape Wines Man of the Match.
 

Home Team
Tries: Howells, Calder, Bordiss, Holgate (x2)

Con: Ratford (x2)

Away Team
Try: Betty

Pen: Trigg (x2)

Home Team
15 Bordiss, 14 Holgate, 13 McInroy, 12 Trueman, 11 Howells, 10 Ratford, 9 Amor

1 Clarke, 2 Kwasnicki, 3 Standfield, 4 Newman, 5 J Brown, 6 O Brown, 7 Calder, 8 Lipp

Replacements: Kent, McGrath, Palmer, Soden, Walbyoff 

Away Team
15 Trigg, 14 Betty, 13 Winchie, 12 Scourfield, 11 Haile, 10 Knight, 9 Brown

1 Price, 2 Wilkes, 3 Price, 4 Rimmer, 5 King, 6 McKee, 7 Allen, 8 Evans

Replacements: Hall, Stout, Jones, Codlin, Blair 

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