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Two-Try Howells Seals Win at Wharfedale for 14-man London Scottish

Two-Try Howells Seals Win at Wharfedale for 14-man London Scottish

On an afternoon when being reduced to 14 men cost Scotland dear in their RBS Six Nations meeting with Wales in Cardiff, London Scottish yesterday dug deep into their physical and mental reserves to overcome a similar numerical disadvantage at Wharfedale in National League Division 1, coming away with an 18-10 victory.

On an afternoon when being reduced to 14 men cost Scotland dear in their RBS Six Nations meeting with Wales in Cardiff, London Scottish yesterday dug deep into their physical and mental reserves to overcome a similar numerical disadvantage at Wharfedale in National League Division 1, coming away with an 18-10 victory.

The win was all the more impressive given that Scottish were forced to play most of the match a man short after the first-half dismissal of flanker Oli Brown, and was secured through two late tries from left wing David Howells following some sterling work from the pack that gave the hosts few opportunities to press home their advantage.

MPU

In bright, crisp, wintry conditions in the glorious Yorkshire Dales setting of Threshfield, Scottish took an early lead through a fifth-minute penalty from full back Frankie Neale, but it was the home side that claimed the game’s opening try on 14 minutes after a pass from James Tincknell found fellow centre Chris Malherbe, who crossed over for the score.

Neale responded with a second penalty to restore his side’s lead, and after 26 minutes, Wharfedale skipper Rob Baldwin was sin-binned, but the visitors were unable to capitalise on their temporary numerical advantage, and it was the home side that added a second try, scored by prop Adam Mason shortly after the half-hour mark. As with his earlier conversion attempt, fly half Mark Bedworth failed to find the target with his kick, leaving the score at 10-6.

Brown’s red card, for his reaction to an infringement by a Wharfedale player, came after Baldwin had re-entered the playing arena, and left Scottish with the prospect of playing out the remainder of the first period and the entire second half a man down, the closeness of the match so far suggesting that the advantage lay with the hosts.

However, solid work from the forwards and strong last-ditch tackling by the Scottish backs, as well as a series of handling errors from Wharfedale, meant that the latter were unable to translate their superiority in numbers into points, and in the last 20 minutes of the game the seven-man visiting pack stepped up a gear, with second row Iain Fullarton gaining the travelling supporters’ man of the match award for his tireless work.

With the game entering its last ten minutes, parity in numbers was restored when Wharfedale flanker Latu Maka’afi, a thorn in the visitors’ sides all afternoon, was yellow-carded, and this time Scottish eagerly seized their chance.

On 72 minutes, a trademark kick from fly half James Brown over the Wharfedale defence was claimed by Howells, who touched down in the left-hand corner to put his side into the lead, although Neale was unable to add the conversion.

Then, five minutes later, the left wing struck again, his second try coming after a flowing move across the Scottish back line. This time Brown, taking over kicking duties from Neale, sent the ball between the uprights to make the final score 18-10.

The victory leaves Scottish second in the table, six points behind league leaders Esher, who have played one game less and yesterday beat Tynedale 34-24, and 15 ahead of third-placed Launceston, 41-18 winners against Blackheath.

Next week, Scottish host the league’s bottom club, Manchester, who did not play yesterday, with the match kicking off at 3pm at the Athletic Ground. Scottish ran out 93-0 winners when the two sides met last October.

Home Team
10 (Tries: Malherebe, Mason)
Away Team
18: (Tries: Howells (2), Conversion: Brown, Penalties: Neale (2)
Home Team
Gray, Dixon, Tincknell, Malherbe, Hall, Bedworth, Cottrell, Mason, Hindle, Steele, Brown, Allen, Maka’afi, Solomi, Baldwin (Replacements: Chivers, Dickinson, Wareing, Matthews, Horsfall.
Away Team
Neale, Broughton, Damant, Trueman, Howells, J Brown, Amor, Johnson, Standfield, Fahey, Karonias, Fullarton, Yellowlees, O Brown, Lipp (Replacements: Graham, Silvester, Lonergan, Grant, Peel)
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