The Knights earned a dramatic 28-21 victory after a pulsating final few minutes that saw a drop goal from London Scottish charged down before Josh Tyrell powered over for the match winning try for Doncaster on the counter attack.
The home side started the better side with their foot firmly on the throttle in the opening 15 minutes. Ben Hunter bounced off three tackles as the intensity was set by the Knights. Soon after the visitors went down to 14 men after a high tackle from Jared Saunders. The Doncaster pressure was rewarded with a try from Ollie Stedman after only three minutes. The flanker drove over from close range, which was converted by Dougie Flockhart for an early 7-0 lead.
The Knights continued to attack with purpose and fluency, however that faded after the quarter of an hour mark.
Scottish began to defend with more aggressive, which in turn set the platform for their attack and soon levelled the scoreline after an impressive break from Tom Griffiths, the centre offloaded to Ed Hoadley in the Knights’ 22, who dotted down under pressure from Paul Jarvis. Rory Jennings converted from the right side of the goal on the 10m line.
The game turned into a scrappy affair as neither side could swing the balance in their favour with both sides knocking the ball on and giving away penalties.
Although, it was the visitors that added to the scoreboard again with a try on 36 minutes, after the Scottish pressure in the Doncaster 22 prevailed when Charlie Ingall collected the pass on the full with his momentum taking him over the try line. Jennings converted to give the away side the lead going into half-time.
The second half was dominated by the Knights and they nearly got off to the perfect start when Flockhart was offloaded the ball by Cameron Cowell in the Scottish 22. The winger dived over the try line, but was tackled in mid-air and judged to have been dragged into touch.
However, the pressure continued, and new signing Jack Roberts powered over from close range after a superb drive from Josh Tyrell. Flockhart again converted to level the scoreline.
After that try the game began to go back and forth in terms of the attack. Both sides started to up their ascendancy as the importance of the result was clear to see with mistakes evitable with the amount of pressure on the result.
On 67 minutes, it was the Knights that struck again. Josh Tyrell stretched over after Ollie Stedman had carried the ball superbly to within close range of the London Scottish try line. Flockhart converted again to earn a 19-14 narrow lead to the home side.
The visitors replied instantly as they began to turn the balance of the game in their favour and after several phases in the Doncaster 22, Rob Stephenson squeezing over to level the score, once Jennings had converted.
Clive Griffiths’ side twisted the momentum in their favour once again though and must’ve felt like the victory was theirs when the forwards won a scrum penalty on the Scottish 22. However, in dramatic fashion Dougie Flockhart kicked wide with the clock on 77 minutes.
Scottish took the game back to the Knights and tried their luck with a drop goal from Jennings midway inside the Doncaster half, however Ollie Stedman blocked the attempt, advanced forward with ball bouncing, only for it to fall unfavourably for the flanker to be able to catch.
That didn’t halt the attack though and the Knights, roared on by the crowd, passed the ball from right to left with intensity as they pushed forwards into the Scottish 22; after a number of pick and goes with the clock seconds away from full time it was Josh Tyrell that charged over from close range again to earn Doncaster the all-important five point victory that was secured when Flockhart converted with the last kick of the game.
Doncaster Knights: 15. Cowell 14. Flockhart 13. Roberts 12. Clark 11. Jarvis 10. Olver(62’Morath) 9. James 1. Hislop(71’List) 2. Hunter(71’Mayhew) 3. Beech(72’Sproston) 4. Civetta 5. Hicks(55’Challinor) 6. Stedman 7. Hills(55’Burrows) 8. Tyrell
Replacements: 16. Mayhew 17. List 18. Sproston 19. Challinor 20. Burrows 21. Polataivao 22. Morath
Tries: Tyrell 2, Roberts, Stedman Conversions: Flockhart 4
London Scottish: 1. Harris(52’Brodley) 2. Saunders 3. Palframan(20’Cringle) 4. Hodge(71’Wakeling) 5. Vukasinovic 6. Uanivi(7’Adams) 7. Tyas 8. Bright (c) 9. Hoadley(19’Barton) 10. Jennings 11. Beattie 12. Vernon 13. Griffiths 14. Stevenson 15. Ingall
Replacements: 16. Adams(18’Uanivi) 17. Brodley 18. Cringle 19. Wakeling 20. Barton(75’Hart) 21. Hart 22. Mantella
Tries: Stephenson 2, Ingall Conversions: Jennings 3
Yellow Card: Saunders