London Skolars 26-42 Workington Town

Town bounced back from the heartbreak of last weekend’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat against London Broncos, by overcoming their neighbours London Skolars at New River Stadium in the capital on Saturday afternoon.

That said, the final score was a little harsh on the Skolars who led twice and were overrun only in the final 25 minutes.

It took Town only 102 seconds to open the scoring.

Good passing to the left released Sam Forrester, who sprinted clear. As cover came across, Forrester kicked diagonally towards the sticks and Jamie Doran was able to pick up the bouncing ball before touching down.

From their next foray, Doran and Forrester again combined, but this time, the Skolars were able to stop Forrester inches short of the line.

London were then penalised twice, but a forward pass ended that move. More good London defence then held out when Kurt Maudling was held up in on goal on the last tackle.

Town were guilty of loose handling and they conceded a couple of penalties. Given possession, London took full advantage as Jy-Mel Coleman crashed over through a trio of tacklers.

As Neil Thorman lined-up the conversation, a couple of Town players questioned whether the ball had been grounded correctly, but the referee was not going to change his mind.

Things got worse for Workington when Steve Scholey was sin-binned for a cannonball tackle on Will Martin.

Two tackles later, a Coleman kick was chased down and grounded by the speedy Elliot Hall just before the end line.

In the 34th minute, London got their third try. A steepling bomb from Thorman had snow on the ball as Foster did well to gather it, but he had no chance to do anything as three Skolars chasers shoved him into touch.

From this possession, London scored again when Charlie Lawrence darted over from dummy half.

Lawrence undid his good work by knocking on the restart and Town made him and Skolars pay as Sean Penkywicz bulldozed his way over from close range and Foster’s kick made it 16-12.

Then, with the hooter about to sound, Town took the lead with a try in the left-hand corner from Forrester. From the touchline, Foster kicked a magnificent conversion.

The second half started with both teams making mistakes. Hall spilled a high kick from Doran.

But Town responded with a knock-on 10 metres from the London line.

Town made another huge mistake in the 44th minute when a pass to the left-wing was intercepted by Vinnie Finnigan and the winger marked his debut with 65-metre run to the line. Foster was injured in the move – it seemed to be a rib injury – and took no further part in the game.

From the restart, London moved downfield with purpose, led by a powerful run from Louis Robinson and, on the last tackle, the Town defence again was caught napping by a Lawrence dart from dummy-half.

Doran showed his skills by scoring his second try with a gliding, mazy run through the defence and he improved the angle better for Jordan Tansey, who had taken over kicking duties when Foster went off with an injury,

The Skolars indiscipline cost them dearly when Sam Nash stepped off the mark at a play-the-ball and, from the penalty, Town moved the ball out to the left wing where Forrester completed his double.

Tansey’s touchline conversion gave Town a four-point advantage entering the final quarter.

With 15 minutes to go, Workington finally got some breathing room when Doran kicked into the in-goal and Kurt Maudling profited from a fortuitous bounce to down between the posts.

Three minutes later, James Newton went over from dummy-half after Ryan Bailey had been stopped with a copybook tackle five metres out.

Both teams had late chances to score in the final few minutes, but could not convert the opportunities.

London were right on the Town line as the hooter sounded, but it would have been no more than a consolation score.