London Scottish Highlanders and B’s were both defeated in their respective games with Worthing 2nds and Hammersmith & Fulham over the weekend.
Both sides played at home, drawing in the crowds before the first team's game with Leeds Carnegie, but despite healthy crowd numbers, they were unable to translate home advantage into victories.
The Highlanders (team line-up below) went down 15-52 to the Worthing 2nd team. They got off to a very strong start, retaining the ball from kick off. Ball retention and intensity in momentum saw fly-half Josh Graham slip through a gap to score under the posts, making his conversion a sure thing.
The Highlanders were well worth their the early lead and the performance showed all in attendance that they can retain possession, build momentum and create chances to score. But Worthing are one of the strongest sides in the Shield 2 competition and showed as much with two tries of their own. Josh Graham added a penalty for Scottish to make it 12-10 in favour of the visitors.
Worthing then started to pull away before the break, scoring tries at regular intervals. A 32 -10 half time score was a big mountain to climb for the Highlanders and Worthing kept punishing them on the counter-attack. A string of missed tackles made it easier for the visitors but they scored four further tries from Scottish mistakes made whilst on the attack. The Highlanders created no less than seven try scoring opportunities but ffailed to capitalise on any of them.
The Highlanders did manage a consolation try through Josh Graham again after finally displaying the patience required to score but the game was long since won and Worthing ran out worthy winners. Nevertheless, there were some strong performances throughout the team, with Dennis Alexander-Gibson named as the Highlanders’ man of the match.
The B’s lost out to Hammersmith & Fulham in their Middlesex Merit Table game. The home side dominated the set piece but it was unforced errors that coughed up possession to the opposition, who took full advantage in order to claim a comprehensive 7-54 win.
Highlanders Team: 15 Joel Maisey; 14 Mark Oliviera, 13 Tom Cotteral, 12 Nick Kendall, 11 Aaron Perrin; 10 Josh Graham, 9 Tom MacArthur; 1 Paul Webster, 2 Marcus Bailey, 3 David Greene; 4 Dennis Alexander-Gibson, 5 Corné du Rand; 6 Hamish Coventry, 7 Charlie Howard, 8 Stuart May
Replacements: Shane Logan, Ollie Sanderson, Mateo Olivari, Kit McInnes-Manby, Charlie Marchant-Rowe