London Scottish – 24/10/2015

19Doncaster Knights

10London Scottish

2:00 pm · October 24, 2015

Doncaster Knights overturned a four-point deficit at the half-time interval, to record a vital 19-10 home victory against a resilient London Scottish.

The Knights fourth consecutive Castle Park triumph means they have consolidated their position among the Championship’s top four. Having consigned Scottish to a third successive league defeat, the Knights open up a six-point buffer over their now 7th-placed opposition.

It would be fair to say that the Knights got a real run for their money at their Armthorpe-base this afternoon and were forced to dig deep by a tenacious Scottish outfit, to register the win in testing conditions. The Doncaster men went into the sheds at half time trailing the visitors, 6-10, before producing a sterling defensive effort in the second stanza to shut their opponents out. The Exiles failed to register a single point in that second forty and were powerless to resist as the Knights pulled away in the latter stages of the contest.

The Knights began well enough and were ahead inside just two minutes, through a sweetly-struck Dougie Flockhart penalty, after Scottish were penalised for holding on at the breakdown. The momentum certainly seemed to be with Griff’s men in those opening exchanges, as the pack imposed themselves on their Richmond-based counterparts, forcing a succession of early penalties.

However, the Knights couldn’t translate that early dominance into points on the board and were made to pay as Exiles fullback, Peter Lydon, tied the scores at 3-3 after 19 minutes, bisecting the poles with a long range penalty. Scottish seemed to settle into the contest as a result of that, and almost immediately from the restart; the Knights would find themselves behind.

From Ollie Bryant’s kick-off, the Scottish pack attacked the gain line with some powerful carries before LYDON received possession in midfield. The fullback elected to hoist a delightful chip over the on-rushing Knights defensive line, before collecting his own kick to dot down. Lydon picked himself up to add the extras with a routine shot at goal. Scottish had seized the initiative and led 10-3 after 20 minutes, having been largely uninspiring prior to Lydon’s slice of individual brilliance.

The Knights needed a response and Flockhart duly delivered, reducing the arrears with his second penalty of the afternoon. Scottish threatened as the first half came to a close and could easily have strengthened their advantage but for some brave Knights defence. Lydon’s only blemish on an otherwise impressive first-half performance was his missed penalty attempt as half time loomed.

As it stood, the sides would go in for their half-time oranges with Scottish holding a slender advantage, though both sets of players were guilty of letting great opportunities go to waste.

At 6-10, the Knights were in contention, though Flockhart’s first miss from the tee after the break suggested it might not be the home side’s day.

The Knights players didn’t read that same script however, and launched wave after wave of attack. The sustained pressure finally told in the 65th minute when MAKAAFI bludgeoned his way over the chalk. Almost inevitably, it was the big man who touched down for the home side. The Championship Player of the Month for September marshalled the ball intelligently at the base of the maul, before burrowing over the line to continue his incredible try-scoring form. Flockhart converted a difficult touchline effort to see the Knights into a 13-10 lead with just over ten minutes to play.

The Knights rarely looked troubled after that and closed out the game comfortably. Flockhart added a penalty on the 70-minute mark to double the Knights advantage, before nailing a long range shot with the last play to deny Scottish, what may prove to be, an important losing bonus-point.

The Knights were professional in difficult conditions, on a wet and windy October afternoon in South Yorkshire, and were full value for the 19-10 victory. Scottish may yet rue not having clinched a losing bonus-point this afternoon and have now lost 3 consecutive games.

As a result they Exiles drop to 7th in the Championship table, while the Knights continue their impressive early season form and remain firmly among the pace-setters in 3rd; having now tasted success in 5 of their opening 8 Championship fixtures.

The Knights travel to Bristol for their next Championship fixture, on Friday 6th November.

Match Statistics

Doncaster Knights: Jarvis, Flockhart, Clark, Hurrell, Lewis, Bryant (Olver 32’), Edgerley (Field 71’); List (Bergmanas 77’), Hunter (Veikoso 74’), Quigley (John 77’), Hotson (Young 74’), Phelan, Makaafi (Owen 77’), Hills, Shaw.




London Scottish: Lydon, Williams, Clarke, Harries, Marchant, Grove, Heeks (Calder 42’); Hallam (Gibbons 71’), Kwasnicki (Cherry 66’), Litchfield, Carrick-Smith (Bartle 66’), Thomas-Brown, Treadwell, Walker (Grace 60’), Bright. Unused – Jackson; Turner.




Referee: John Meredith (RFU)

Attendance: 1,159

By Dean Page

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