London Scottish moved to within touching distance of confirming their spot in the end of season play-offs this evening following a hard fought 13-13 draw at home to Doncaster Knights.
A late touchline conversion from Peter Lydon after winger Matt Williams had scored in the right corner rescued two points for Scottish, who for most of the game, struggled to breakdown a resolute Knights defence.
Not for the first time this season, Scottish finished strongly and Lydon’s late drop goal from distance which drifted narrowly wide could have won it for the hosts.
However defeat would have been harsh on Doncaster who showed glimpses of why they turned over Bristol so impressively in last week’s B&I Cup semi-final.
The Exiles trustworthy attacking maul was penalised right on Doncaster’s try line early on but it wasn’t long before Lydon had put the Scots ahead with his opening penalty on 10 minutes.
Doncaster had begun the match playing at a high tempo and were rewarded with a try two minutes later.
It was former London Scot Tyler Hotson who galloped in from 10 metres out, having collected the ball at the base of a ruck before spotting a hole and crashing over.
February’s Championship Player of the Month Dougie Flockhart added the extras to push Doncaster ahead, 7-3.
Knights nearly went in for a second try just before the half hour mark with Matt Clark, who broke clear from halfway, denied by a brilliant covering tackle from Miles Mantella.
Scottish were enjoying most of the possession but seemed unable to penetrate the Doncaster defence, not helped by some basic errors and a lack of discipline when in good field position.
Kieran Moffat just failed to put right winger Matt Williams clear early in the second half after a fine break by the centre, with a try almost certain if the ball had gone to hand.
Lydon reduced the deficit to a single point with his second penalty before the Exiles were reduced to 14 men when Lee Millar was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.
It got worse for Scottish soon after when open side flanker Lewis Ludlow was also sin-binned having conceded a penalty right on his own line.
Flockhart kicked the resulting three points for 10-6.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, it was Scottish who pushed for the next score only for Doncaster to thwart the danger, first from an attacking line out five metres from their own line then after winning a penalty defending a five metre scrum.
The usually reliable boot of Flockhart was off target with a penalty kick on 67 minutes but he made no mistake at the second time of asking 60 seconds later which eased Knights 6-13 in front.
The subdued Scots needed a bit of magic to kick start their game and it duly came when a neat kick over the top from fly half Lydon was gathered by Matt Williams who scored in the right corner.
Lydon’s superb touchline conversion made it 13 apiece with a little under 10 minutes remaining and despite pressing for a winning score, it never came as both teams settled for a share of the spoils.
REACTION: Moffat remains focused on top four, click here.
London Scottish’s final home game of the regular season is against Nottingham Rugby on Saturday, April 11, 3pm kick-off.
Hospitality is sold out for this game but you can purchase match tickets online now here.
15, Lee Millar, 14, Matt Williams, 13, Kieran Moffat, 12, Matt Hawke (replaced by Mike Doneghan), 11, Miles Mantella, 10, Peter Lydon, 9, Jamie Stevenson, 1, James Hallam (replaced by Mark Lilley), 2, David Cherry (replaced by Adam Kwasnicki), 3, Ben Prescott (replaced by Lovejoy Chawatama), 4, Josh Thomas Brown (replaced by Adam Preocanin), 5, James Phillips, 6, Gregor Gillanders (replaced by Chris Walker), 7, Lewis Ludlow, 8, Mark Bright (c).
16, Mark Lilley, 17, Adam Kwasnicki, 18, Lovejoy Chawatama, 19, Adam Preocanin, 20, Chris Walker, 21, Matt Heeks, 22, Mike Doneghan.
Tries: Matt Williams (70 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (71 minutes)
Penalties: Peter Lydon (11, 46 minutes)
Yellow Cards: Lee Millar & Lewis Ludlow
15 Paul Jarvis, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 Matt Clark, 12 Terrence Hepetema (replaced by Paul Roberts), 11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Latiume Fosita, 9 Tomasi Palu, 1 Richard List (replaced by Tom Davies), 2 Ben Hunter (replaced by William Foden), 3 Colin Quigley (replaced by WillGriff John), 4 Tyler Hotson, 5 Jon Phelan, 6 Matt Challinor (c), 7 Alexander Shaw, 8 Oliver Stedman (replaced by Christopher Eggleshaw).
16 Tom Davies, 17 WillGriff John, 18 William Foden, 19 Harry Thacker, 20 Christopher Eggleshaw, 21 Paul Roberts, 22 Brad Field.
Tries: Tyler Hotson (13 minutes)
Conversions: Dougie Flockhart (13 minutes)
Penalties: Dougie Flockhart (52, 69 minutes)
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Michael Patz & Richard Kelly
Fourth Official: Fergus Kirby
HALF TIME: LONDON SCOTTISH 3 – 7 DONCASTER KNIGHTS
FULL TIME: LONDON SCOTTISH 13 – 13 DONCASTER KNIGHTS
MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Williams