London Scottish’s Rampant Lions had their final Academy game of the season last Saturday, losing 34-32 against the well established Bedford Blues U19s Academy at Goldington Road.
In the first half, Scottish had the slope and wind in their favour but it was Bedford that got the first points through a penalty on five minutes before scoring a converted try soon after.
The Scots did not panic and started to control the game and were rewarded with a penalty which was kicked for 10-3.
Their first try came on 25 minutes. A powerful Scottish scrum on halfway gave the Lions an opportunity to play the blindside through scrum half Ben Pattenden who showed the ball to create a gap which he took and fixed the last defender allowing winger Tom Inglis to score in the corner.
Seven minutes later a well formed line-out drive saw captain and tight head prop, Cameron Leigh go over for Scottish’s second try.
Leading for the first time, 13-10, and in control the Scots were full of confidence and went over for a third try.
From a counter attack, the ball was moved across the pitch to U18 flanker, Marcus Sirmon, who dummied and took a gap to release the ball to winger André Adeleke who shrugged off some tackles to score under the posts.
This time fly-half Harvey Young converted before Bedford hit back with a try of their own to make it a five point game at half-time.
The second half started well for the Rampant Lions as they scored two early tries, despite the wind and the slope.
The first was by replacement winger Tony Darling, receiving an inside pass from Young on the blindside.
The second came from a kick by Pattenden that bounced perfectly for Toni Darling in midfield to collect and score, the conversion making it 32-15.
A defensive error in the back line gave Bedford a way back into the game through a converted try and it got better for the hosts as they crossed again after an untidy line-out for 32-27.
Bedford sealed a dramatic comeback thanks to another try which gave them a 34-32 win.
The game was a missed opportunity for the squad but nevertheless the team played some good controlled rugby to lead for long spells.
Ultimately a series of crucial and debatable penalties against London Scottish cost them.
The squad left Bedford disappointed but found much encouragement in the journey that they have had this season individually and as a team which was effectively the first year of the Senior Academy at London Scottish.
Considering the same London Scottish team lost 25-3 at the start of the season at Bedford, the improvement was clear to see and the academy coaches feel they are on the right track.
The Academy is currently recruiting for the 2014/15 season and would welcome talented U16 to U23 players to apply via the website www.londonscottish.com/rugby/academy/index.php
Applicants applying before the 31st of May will be first in line to be selected for the pre-season trial period in July and the trial games in the beginning of August.
For any further information you can contact the academy management by email on email@example.com