The visitors for this match, Barrow sat unbeaten at the top of the league after going unbeaten in their 6 games. Skolars had been beaten by Hunslet the week before, with the visitors putting 62 on the board to Skolars 10, some score to come back from.
A surprise inclusion on the Skolars team sheet was Head Coach, Jermaine Coleman, the first time he’d pulled a shirt on ‘in anger’ for a couple of years.
Sadly the announcer sounded like Norman Collier, without meaning to! I’ll do my best to get the try scorers right.
The game itself felt like a Comedy of Errors at the teams exchanged dropped balls for the first 20 minutes. Skolars had some good possession but failed to make anything of it.
Barrow’s Dan Morrow dropped the ball twice, then dropped a Skolars player on his back, the ‘tackle’ was put on report, an aspect of this game I’ll never quite understand, it does the wronged team no good whatsoever to see an incident dealt with that way.
It took a great piece of individual play to see the first try scored, Nathan Mossop backed himself at the play the ball and broke through, Luke Cresswell was ok his shoulder, but was stopped, Jake Carter however he was there to take the ball and benefited from the break to score the try.
Mossop makes the break, Cresswell gets caught
Barrow were twice given a penalty on the 5th tackle, inevitably giving them good ground. A neat pass out the back of the hand (sorry I didn’t spot by who) and Luke Cresswell went over for Barrow’s second try.
Jamie Dallimore had his kicking boots on and Barrow were ahead by 12. Things were made harder for Skolars when Mike Greenhalgh was shown a red card with around 30 minutes on the clock. The reasons why weren’t at all clear from the stand, but I learnt after the match it was for a head butt. Something Greenhalgh denies. It would be 12 v 13 for the rest of the match.
Barrow made the most of the extra space, scoring their third try, the red card and penalty had come on another 5th tackle. Harry Swarbrick went over in the corner. That left a difficult conversion for Dallimore, but, the ball sailed over the posts to put Barrow on 18.
The expected penalty on the 5th came again for Barrow, but, happily from the perspective of this Skolars fan they dropped the ball. Skolars put a string of great passes together and got their first points on the board through Charles Hammond
The score at half-time was Skolars 6 Barrow 18
Skolars had some good possession as the second half got underway, Errol Carter got on the end of a chip over the Barrow defence from Neil Thurman, the conversion from close to the touch line missed the mark.
Skolars went on the attack again, but a ball from Lamont Bryan was intercepted by Tee Ritson, clearly a pacey player he turned the speed on and scored Barrow’s fourth try. The conversion was successful and Barrow moved on to 24.
Lamont Bryan turned try scorer, he’s a hard man to stop when he has a mind to go over the try line!
The final score was London Skolars 14 Barrow Raiders 24. Barrow had 10 minutes with a man in the bin, but for Skolars to stay in touch as they did with 12 men for 50 minutes showed a huge improvement from their previous match. There was a lot to take from the game for the home team.
That’s 7 from 7 for Barrow, they’ll push for top place and relegation without a doubt. In spite of the game being broadcast they brought a lot of fans with them to London, their journey home was delayed by having to wait for a staff member who’d gone to hospital with an injured player. Hopefully their long journey wasn’t delayed for too long and the player’s ok.