London Scottish FC played host to Barking RUFC, who are one of the new clubs in National League One – just as the Exiles were a year ago, where they wound up the 2009/2010 season in second place to Esher. London Scottish last ran up against Barking two seasons ago, when they were both in the National League three division before the Exiles were promoted to National League One. This match saw three tries a piece from both sides, in a game of rugby where London Scottish could have amassed 27 points if everything had swung in the home side’s favour.
Following promising form and pressure during the early stages of the game, Barking proved a strong opponent for Scottish; with the scoreboard resulting in 17-24 to the visitors.
The second game of the 2010/11 Season and the second of back-to-back games at the Richmond Athletic Association home ground started with Scottish on the front foot making all of the running. The first 20 minutes of Saturday's game showed that Simon Amor and his team had worked hard during the week, to cut out the error rate that plagued their first match against Blackheath.
During this period of play, David Howells opened the scoring with a try in the corner on 15 minutes through superbly worked move, in which Frankie Neale stepped up and converted.
At 7-0 up with Scottish in the ascendancy and creating more opportunities, Barking scored against the run of play and in their first visit to the Scottish 22m. After a lineout led to a misjudging London Scottish chip kick, Barking number 10 gathered the loose ball and went under the posts, which their fullback dually converted.
The momentum then swung in Barking's favour when a penalty converted by their number 15 was shortly followed with a try by their outside centre. Barking’s left wing grabbed a loose ball and broke through the defence setting the number 13 up for the score. Barking’s fullback converted, to give the visitors a 10 point lead going into half-time with the score board reading London Scottish FC 07 – 17 Barking RUFC.
With Adam Kwasnicki and Matt Johnson coming on for Clarke and Standfield, the second-half began in similar fashion to the first with London Scottish dominating the proceedings. Their efforts were rewarded by a superbly taken try from Sam Harding running in from 30 yards.
However, almost immediately from the restart a cross field kick from Barking's fly half bounced off a Scottish defender and was gathered by their winger who sprinted 40 meters to score, giving Barking the lead 12 – 24.
It would appear that lady luck was not to be on Scottish's side as Frankie Neale had to receive attention for a serious injury which saw him stretchered off the field and replaced by Rory Damant.
After the lengthy injury delay both teams battled hard to gain the upper hand and wrestled for momentum. Following a period of sustained pressure Scottish through a pick and drive brought the score to within seven points with a try from front row forward Head Prop Craig McGrath.
With a possible victory within their grasp, Scottish worked hard to get the final match winning points. However, it was simply not meant to be as the referee appeared to blow his whistle, as much as 7 minutes early by some calculations, and leave Scottish having to settle with a losing bonus point for the second game in a row.
Following another hard fought defeat London Scottish Head Coach Simon Amor said “This was an incredibly frustrating result. I was pleased on one hand as we certainly cut down the errors from our previous match, but was very disappointed with some of our first phase play and the lack of urgency in some of our play during certain periods. We certainly have not made it easy on our self's but we also know that this season is going to be very tough with the league having so many good teams.”
LONDON SCOTTISH SCORERS
David Howells (15), Samuel Harding (43), Craig McGrath (58)
Samuel Stanley (18), Henry Staff (39), David Vincent (47)
LONDON SCOTTISH LINEUP
(15) Frank Neale, (14) Stephen Hihetah, (13) Ian McInroy, (12) Gary Trueman (C), (11) David Howells, (10) James Brown, (9) Callum Grant, (1) Alexander Clarke, (2) Thomas Standfield, (3) Craig McGrath, (4) Andrew Newman, (5) Alexander Karonias, (6) William Lipp, (7) Thomas Yellowlees, (8) Samuel Harding SUBSTITUTES: (16) Matthew Johnson, (17) Adam Kwasnicki, (18) Darrell Ball, (19) Owain Wallbyoff, (20) Rory Damant
(15) Adam Armstrong, (14) David Vincent, (13) Henry Staff, (12) Kevin Sorrell, (11) Scott Alfeld, (10) Samuel Stanley, (9) Matthew Heeks, (1) Jared Saunders, (2) Jack Owens, (3)Aaron Liffchak, (4) Thomas Burns, (5) Benjamin Thomas, (6) James Ngan, (7) Anthony Andrews, (8) James Kellard (C) SUBSTITUTES: (16) Michael Pointing, (17)Edward Ambrose, (18) Lee Griffiths, (19) Harry Owens, (20) Nico Fraser
Match Report By Martin Keane
Press Release By Rob Kerr