Doncaster Knights 19 London Scottish 10: Knights hold on to third spot in Championship
Doncaster Knights held on to third spot in the Greene King IPA Championship after posting a 19-10 win over London Scottish at Castle Park.
The Exiles looked to be on course to repeat last season’s win at Castle Park when leading 10-6 at the end of what had been a frustrating first half for Knights.
Knights had struggled to get to grips with the Scottish kicking game and had failed to find any real rhythm in attack.
But they found a way to win the game in the second half, though it was rarely pretty, in a manner which suggests that their early-season form is no flash in the pan.
Knights, who lost fly-half Ollie Bryant with a groin strain midway through the first half, have shown in their opening eight games that they have not only have a Plan A and B but also a Plan C.
Knights were without the in-form No 8 Ollie Stedman, who started a three-match ban, though they welcomed back September’s Championship Player of the Month, Latu Makaafi.
Knights got off to a flying start with wing Dougie Flockhart booting over a second-minute penalty.
But it was the visitors who called most of the shots in a scrappy first half littered with untidy scrums and too much kicking.
The Exiles, who have now lost three games in succession, drew level on 20 minutes with a penalty by full-back Peter Lydon who then scored the best try of the match.
Lydon collected a poor kick by his opposite number Paul Jarvis just inside his own half and beat several defenders before kicking into space and winning the race to the loose ball to score a try he also converted to make it 10-3.
Flockhart reduced the deficit to four points from a second penalty .
Knights, as they had to, made more of an effort to try and play their own game after the break but good breaks by centre Mat Clark and Jarvis in the third quarter failed to bring any reward.
Knights regained the lead on 66 minutes when Makaafi touched down for his ninth try of the season from a catch-and-drive ploy.
Flockhart added the extras to make it 13-10 and also kicked a penalty to give his side extra breathing space.
But knowing that a converted try could still secure them the spoils, Scottish piled on the pressure and the last ten minutes proved a nerve-racking time for the home side.
It wasn’t until Flockhart converted a long-range penalty in stoppage time, which also served to deny the Exiles a losing bonus point, that the crowd could relax and celebrate what at one stage looked to be an unlikely victory.
Knights: Jarvis; Flockhart, Clark, Hurrell, Lewis; Bryant, Edgerley; List. Hunter, Quigley, Hotson, Phelan, Makaafi, Hills, Shaw. Rep: Bergmanas, Viekoso, John, Young, Owen, Olver, Field.
London Scottish: Lydon; Williams, Clarke, Harries, Marchant; Grove, Heeks; Hallam, Kwasnicki, Litchfield, Carrick-Smith, Brown-Thomas, Treadwell, Walker, Bright. Rep: Cherry, Gibbons, Turner, Bartle. Grace, Calder, Jackson.
Referee: John Meredith