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Brave Scots edged out at the death by Worcester in semi-final first leg.

Brave Scots edged out at the death by Worcester in semi-final first leg.

A last gasp penalty try for Worcester Warriors broke London Scottish hearts at the Athletic Ground this afternoon with Dean Ryan's side securing a narrow 27-22 win in the first leg of this Greene King IPA Championship semi-final clash.

A last gasp penalty try for Worcester Warriors broke London Scottish hearts at the Athletic Ground this afternoon with Dean Ryan’s side securing a narrow 27-22 win in the first leg of this Greene King IPA Championship semi-final clash.

After Warriors opened up a daunting 17-3 lead within the first 30 minutes, the Scots came storming back in a pulsating encounter and were ahead 22-20 in added time.

MPU

But following six Worcester scrums on the Exiles line, referee Gregor Garner eventually lost patience with the hosts, sin-binning prop D’arcy Rae then awarding Warriors a penalty try which won them the game, Lamb's conversion giving them a slender five point advantage heading into next Friday’s second leg at Sixways.

It was a courageous effort from the Richmond side and their stirring comeback from an early 14 point deficit should give them huge encouragement ahead of next week’s clash.

In gusty conditions, Exiles full-back Peter Lydon missed a tricky penalty effort early on before Worcester opened the scoring on six minutes.

After securing line-out ball five metres from the Scots line, scrum-half Charlie Mulchrone darted to the narrow side, feeding winger Sam Smith who went over in the right corner.

Lamb missed his conversion but Lydon made no mistake on 12 minutes striking a fine penalty over the posts from inside his own half, aided by a strong wind on his back.

Worcester, stung by their home defeat to Bristol last week, were in a ruthless mood early doors and went over for their second score two minutes later.

Lock Darren O’Shea fed Aussie international winger Cooper Vuna who powered over in the left corner from close range.

Lamb’s conversion was wide of the mark again but the Warriors were now seven points and two tries to the good.

Sam Smith had the chance to claim his second try on 24 minutes, dropping the ball with the line in sight.

However fellow winger Vuna made no mistake on the other side of the pitch, as he collected Ryan Lamb’s cross field kick, after Matt Williams failed to gather, to go over for his brace.

 


This time Lamb’s conversion was good and the Warriors were 3-17 ahead after just 28 minutes.

It got worse for the home side when Mike Doneghan was sin-binned a minute later but to their credit the 14 men responded superbly with scrum-half Jamie Stevenson squeezing over for a try in the left corner.

Lydon nailed the touchline conversion to make it a seven point game at the break with the Warriors dealt a late first half blow when replacement scrum-half Jonny Arr was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.

The next score was always going to be important and it was the Scots who got it.

Replacement Warriors forward James Percival was yellow carded for hauling down an attacking Scottish line-out and when the hosts went for another line-out, Mark Bright was at the end of the resulting driving maul to score his 25th try of the league campaign.

Lydon missed the conversion but from 17-3 down, the Scots had clawed themselves to within two points of Worcester after 50 minutes.

Warriors indiscipline was costing them dear with the Scots taking the lead for the first time on 65 minutes following lock Mike Williams’s sin-binning.

Bright got his second of the day, collecting Stevenson’s cute inside pass to canter in from close range which moved Scottish ahead for the first time, 20-17.

Lydon conversion made it 22-17 as we entered the final 15 minutes of a gripping contest.

Worcester hit back through a Ryan Lamb penalty soon afterwards and in the final minute it was heartache for the Scots when Garner awarded Warriors the decisive penalty try.

Images from Saturday's clash have been posted over on our Facebook page. Click here to view.


Championship Semi Final Second Leg.

The play-off semi-final, second leg, takes place next Friday, May 8, 7.45pm kick-off at Sixways.
The club is considering hiring a Supporters’ Coach to the second leg.

To register interest, please email Jane Innes on jane@janeinnes.com

London Scottish: 15, Peter Lydon, 14, Matt Williams, 13, Kieran Moffat, 12, PJ Gidlow, 11, Mike Doneghan, 10, Dan Newton, 9, Jamie Stevenson, 1, James Hallam, 2, Adam Kwasnicki, 3, Ben Prescott, 4, James Phillips, 5, Josh Thomas Brown, 6,  Gregor Gillanders, 7, Neil Best, 8, Mark Bright (c).

Used replacements: 18, D’arcy Rae, 19, James Chisholm, 16, Mark Lilley.

Unused replacements:  17, James Stephenson, 20, Chris Walker, 21, Matt Heeks, 22, Lee Millar.

Penalties Lydon, 12mins.

Tries: Stevenson, 35mins, Bright, 50mins, 66mins.

Conversions:  Lydon, 36mins, 66mins.

Yellow Cards: Mike Doneghan, D’Arcy Rae.

Worcester Warriors 1, Ryan Bower, 2, Niall Annett, 3, Nick Schonert, 4, Mike Williams, 5, Darren O'Shea, 6, Leonardo Senatore, 7, Sam Betty, 8, GJ van Velze (c), 9, Charlie Mulchrone, 10, Ryan Lamb, 11, Cooper Vuna, 12, Ryan Mills, 13, Alex Grove, 14, Sam Smith, 15, Ben Howard.

Used replacements: 21, Jonny Arr, 16, Agustin Creevy, 19, James Percival, 18, Joe Rees, 20, Sam Lewis, 17, Ofa Fainga'anuku.

Unused replacements:  22, Dean Hammond.

Penalties Lamb, 69mins.

Tries: Smith, 6mins, Vuna, 14mins, 28mins, Penalty try, 80mins.

Conversions:  Lamb, 28mins, 80mins.

Yellow Cards: Jonny Arr, James Percival, Mike Williams.

Referee: Gregor Garner

Assistants: Wayne Falla and Philip Watters

Fourth Official: Andrew Small

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