London Skolars 18, Workington Town 35

Workington Town kept up the pressure on Barrow at the top of League 1 with an eventually comfortable victory over London Skolars on Saturday afternoon.

It came, however, at great cost, with Dave Weetman stretchered off the pitch after just nine minutes with what looks like a very serious leg injury.

Town had just forced three straight goal-line drop-outs when Weetman carried the ball to within six yards. He was stopped by a legal gang tackle and immediately the referee called for medical assistance.

Play was delayed by more than 10 minutes before the big prop was taken from the field to the dressing rooms. It took 90 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

On the first tackle when play resumed, Rhys Clarke ran a great diagonal and grounded the ball over the line, a set move that could not have gone more perfectly.

Ten minutes later, the ever-dangerous Brad Holroyd was on the shoulder of Joe Brown to cross in the corner, but lazy London defending allowed him to go behind the posts.

The Skolars could barely get over half-way and compounded their problems with handling and disciplinary errors.

One of these was a late hit on Jamie Doran, which resulted in a penalty to Town 15 metres out. Carl Forber, who kicked five out of seven attempts, made no mistake with this one.

And by the end of the game he had surpassed 2,000 points for the club, his five goals taking him to a total of 2,003 points.

On the stroke of half-time, a magnificent counter-attack brought Town a third try.

Conor Fitzsimmons gathered the ball in front of his own posts and made 30 metres downfield before passing to Matt Henson.

The hooker went 25 metres but knew he would be caught, so he passed to Holroyd, who he knew wouldn’t. Paulos Latu kept the winger out wide and Forber failed to add the extras.

London hit straight back after the interval when Lameck Juma forced his way over in the left corner, set up by Aaron Small. Neil Thorman, brother of Town coach Chris, converted.

Ten minutes later, it was game on again as Latu showed great pace and power to beat two tacklers and then improve the angle for Thorman.

The Workington nerves were eased when Fitzsimmons’ excellent afternoon was rewarded with a try. He dived onto a beautifully weighted grubber from Doran, the ball travelling barely five metres.

Things got tougher for Skolars when Michael Sykes was sin-binned for an alleged crusher tackle, a decision that left him bemused.

Two minutes later, a pass from Brad Marwood seemed to go forward, but Henson didn’t wait for a whistle and touched down between the uprights.

London hit back in the 71st minute, when Sykes, 60 seconds after his sin-bin ended, crashed over the line.

A sign of Town’s nervousness was shown as Holroyd kicked a 25-metre drop goal after 73 minutes to stretch the lead to 13 points.

The last word belonged to Doran, who stole the ball in a tackle inside the Workington half and he had just enough speed, energy and power to reach the goal-line.

Match facts

London Skolars: 1 Josh Varela, 5 Dalton Grant, 3 Aaron Small, 19 Paulos Latu, 2 Lameck Juma, 6 Jacob Thomas, 7 Oli Leyland, 12 Judd Greenhalgh, 9 Neil Thorman, 10 Christian Gale, 20 Adam Vrahnos, 11 Chris Ball, 21 Mike Greenhalgh. Interchange: (all used) 25 Ryan Cane, 15 Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, 18 Matt Ross, 22 Michael Sykes.

Tries: Juma (41), Latu (50), Sykes (71).

Goals: Thorman 3/3.

Workington Town: 1 Gabe Fell, 2 Brad Holroyd, 31 Joe Brown, 24 Ethan Bickerdyke, 5 Alex Young, 6 Jamie Doran, 7 Carl Forber, 32 Dave Weetman, 23 Matthew Henson, 33 Rhys Clarke, 8 Conor Fitzsimmons, 12 Caine Barnes, 13 Hanley Dawson. Interchange: (all used) 19 John Hutchings, 25 Jake Lightowler, 22 Blain Marwood, 17 Ryan Wilson.

Tries: Clarke (9), Holroyd (19, 39), Fitzsimmons (56), Henson (62), Doran (75).

Goals: Forber 5/7.

Drop-goal: Holroyd (71).

Referee: Andy Sweet.

Half-time: 0–18.

Penalty count: 7–6

Sin-bin: Sykes (London, 60, crusher tackle).

Sent-off: None.

Attendance: 241.

Man of the Match: Town’s Jamie Doran (bossed the game and scored a stunning late try).