Skolars suffer last-minute blow to play-off hopes

13:59 18 July 2012

London Skolars

London Skolars' Joe Price (centre) finds his path blocked by the Barrow defence

Archant

Co-Operative Championship 1: Oldham 25 London Skolars 24

London Skolars suffered a last-minute defeat at Oldham on Sunday, losing two valuable points in the fight for the play-offs.

Skolars came agonisingly close to a vital victory and were leading by six points with five minutes to go – but a converted try and a last-ditch drop goal swung the result in Oldham’s favour right at the death.

Banking a bonus losing point instead of three, Skolars remain eighth in the table with six games left – five points behind both fifth-placed Oldham and sixth-placed Rochdale.

Only the top four teams will be promoted, but the fifth and sixth-placed teams will join them in an end-of-season play-off contest and battle for a cash prize of around £20,000.

Visiting Skolars took the lead as Will Colleran raced onto Dylan Skee’s kick to record a converted try.

The sides then traded scores, with Chris Murphy levelling for the hosts, Joe Price touching down for the visitors and Jamie Dallimore responding for Oldham before adding the second of his four conversions to put his side 12-10 up at half-time.

Price added his second try soon after the restart and, although Oldham hit back again, Skolars scored twice in succession through Lamont Bryan and Matt Thomas, who recorded his 30th try for the club to establish a 24-18 lead nine minutes from time.

It looked like Skolars would win – but Skee missed the conversion to leave a six-point gap, which was wiped out as Miles Greenwood touched down and Dallimore converted to level the scores at 24-24.

Skolars had one final attack but couldn’t find a gap in the defence, and instead Oldham advanced downfield, with Neil Roden’s dramatic drop-goal giving them the victory.

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