Scots beaten by Blackheath in first pre-season match
London Scottish suffered a 21-17 defeat to Blackheath at Well Hall in their first pre-season match of 16/17 after a late comeback saw them fall just short.
The new-look Scots trailed 21-5 with 15 minutes to go, but two tries in quick succession brought them right back in to the match before the final whistle denied them a shot at victory.
The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges and went in front through Mark Cooke after 18 minutes. The centre had some front-foot ball and was able to step his way past a couple of defenders to score. Leo Fielding's conversion gave them a 7-0 advantage.
The Scots were reduced to 14 men before the break after Matt Marley was sent to the sin bin, and it proved to be costly as Chris Knight capitalised to score just before the break. Another successful conversion saw Blackheath hold a 14-0 advantage at half-time.
Blackheath nearly extended their lead straight away with an interception presenting them with a great opportunity, but Peter Lydon and Jason Harries both scrambled back to clear the danger.
Alec Coombes brought the Scots back in to the match with a try on 56 minutes. A five metre lineout took Scottish to within inches of the line, and then the ball was spun wide for Coombes to dot down in the corner.
The hosts responded straight away and Cooke's second converted try of the match extended their lead to 21-5, giving the Scots a huge task to turn the deficit around.
Ifereimi Boladau drove over the line to cut the gap to 21-10, the Fijian number eight used his strength to hand off his opponents and score a debut try.
A penalty try with five minutes remaining brought Scottish to within a score. A five metre lineout was hauled down and gave the referee no option but to head under the posts. Lydon's conversion made it 21-17.
There was still time for one more opportunity, and with Ben Robbins racing clear it looked like there may be some late drama. However the referee penalised the Scots for straying offside, giving Blackheath the chance to close out the match and secure a hard-fought victory.
The Scots now head up to Edinburgh to face Herriots on Tuesday night, before their final pre-season match on Thursday 25th August against Saracens.
15 Leo Fielding 14 Chris Knight 13 Markus Burcham 12 Mark Cooke 11 Jake Lloyd 10 Simon Walting 9 Sam Eydmann 1 Aston Croall 2 Dan George 3 Kieron Scutt 4 Gregor Gillanders 5 Shaun English 6 Tom Baldwin 7 Chris Walker 8 Chris Sewell
16 Ben Cooper 17 Will Roberts 18 Jack Walsh 19 Sam Farmer 20 Reece Conlon 21 James Davies 22 Ian Cross
Tries: Mark Cooke (18, 59 minutes) Chris Knight (38 minutes)
Conversions: Leo Fielding (18, 38, 59 minutes)
15 Ben Rath 14 Connor Hayhow 13 Alec Coombes 12 Tom Galbraith 11 Ben Robbins 10 George Cullen 9 Ed Hoadley 1 Jonny Harris 2 Cameron Fenton 3 Phil Cringle 4 Rory Bartle (c) 5 Dom McGeekie 6 Ally Miller 7 Joe Atkinson 8 Ifereimi Boladau
Devlin Hope, Danny Kenny, Grant Shiells, Hugh Fraser, Jason Harries, Peter Lydon, Harry Sheppard.