Doncaster Knights 29 London Scottish 23: Knights hold steady ahead of Carnegie derby date

TRY ME: Doncaster Knight' David Clark attacks the London Scottish line. Pictures: Chris Etchells
TRY ME: Doncaster Knight' David Clark attacks the London Scottish line. Pictures: Chris Etchells
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TYSON LEWIS’S 69th-minute try proved enough for victory as Doncaster Knights maintained their unbeaten home record at Castle Park this season despite a scare.

The long-serving winger crossed to edge Clive Griffiths’s side home and make sure they did not suffer a third successive defeat.

LET'S PARTY: Doncaster Knights' Sean Scanlon celebrates after touching down.  Picture: Chris Etchells

LET'S PARTY: Doncaster Knights' Sean Scanlon celebrates after touching down. Picture: Chris Etchells

It was tight and far from pretty at times as Doncaster saw their 21-6 interval lead undone by a hat-trick of tries from Scottish winger Jason Harries.

However, the home side eventually prevailed to bolster their bid for another tilt at the Championship play-offs.

Scottish full-back Peter Lydon gave the visitors an early 6-0 lead courtesy of two penalties but Knights captain Richard List, who had been off the field for a head injury assessment, replied with a try from the back of a driving maul.

Declan Cusack converted and it was the fly-half who then nudged a kick through to the onrushing former Rotherham full-back Sean Scanlon to add their second try.

Another erstwhile Titans player – centre Lloyd Hayes – then intercepted a pass from No 8 Ifereimi Boladau to sprint downfield and add a third, Cusack’s goal seeing his side 21-6 ahead at the break.

However, Scottish did not capitulate. Far from it. Harries quickly got the first of his treble early in the second half, bizarrely at the back of a line-out drive,and he added his second soon after.

The wideman’s third try came just after the hour and so, though Lydon improved just once, they now led 23-21.

Nevertheless, Doncaster halted the slide, their pack carrying well to get them on the front foot to set up position for another Cusack grubber to provide Lewis with his definitive score.

Scottish pushed hard to reclaim the advantage but they had no answers and it was Cusack who made sure with a late penalty.

Knights kept hold of fourth spot and left themselves in good spirits ahead of their next game – a derby at second-placed Yorkshire Carnegie a week on Friday.

There has certainly been some teething problems for Doncaster this term with new players coming in and others struggling to reproduce their stellar form of 2015-16.

However, that Headingley fixture will serve as a fine test of just where they stand as they seek to replicate last season’s top-two achievements.

Doncaster Knights: Scanlon; Jarvis, Hayes, Clark, Lewis; Cusack, Heaney (White 72); List, Allen (Hunter 52), John (Quigley 68), Challinor, Nolan, Williams, Robinson, Shaw (Maakafi 45). Replacements unused: Hislop, Sproston, Flockhart.

London Scottish: Lydon; Holland, Fergusson, Kelly (Galbraith 72), Harries; Sheppard, Stevenson;. Shiells (Harris 39), Cherry (Fenton 78), McQuillin (Koroi 47), Bartle, Patrick, Miller, Atkinson, Boladau. Replacements unused: McGeekie, Marley, Hoadley.

Northampton’s experimental side – featuring one debutant and three first-time starters in their initial XV – claimed a deserved 24-16 victory in their opening Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against Newcastle at Kingston Park.

A 76th minute try by centre Rory Hutchinson ultimately sealed a worthy 24-16 victory for Saints, after a 68th-minute score by Newcastle captain Alex Tait and conversion by home fly-half Mike Delany had cut their lead to 19-16.