LONDON Scottish secured a bonus-point win over Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place yesterday in the British & Irish Cup, their forwards eventually taking control of proceedings.
Scorers: Edinburgh Accies: Pens: Black 2. London Scottish: Tries: Doneghan, Homan, Bright, Penalty try. Pens: Love 2. Cons: Love 3.
Accies may have had no chance of progressing to the knockout stages at kick-off but, with a sold-out pre-match lunch and a number of professional players being brought in to bolster the home squad, Raeburn Place was buzzing on a cold afternoon.
The hosts rose to the occasion early on in this Pool Two clash before the visitors’ class shone through and they still have a great chance of progressing from the pool with one round of fixtures to go.
Former Scotland under-20 winger Mike Doneghan scored London Scottish’s first try of the match and afterwards he said: “We are really pleased to come up here and get the bonus-point victory.
“We knew that the Accies squad included a number of pros and we knew it would be a tough game as a result.
“I think we played pretty well in patches in the game and it was really important for us to get the fourth try towards the end as we want to keep going in the British & Irish Cup,” added Doneghan.
“As someone who grew up playing club rugby it was great to see a Scottish club ground busy and a healthy crowd out for this one.
“I think this tournament can only help Scottish clubs grow and it gives players vital experience.”
Edinburgh Accies captain Greg Campbell said: “I am proud of the way the guys stuck at it. Their forwards seemed to get the upper hand and that made it tough for us, but we are enjoying playing at this level.”
After 12 minutes, the home side took the lead when scrum-half Alex Black kicked a penalty.
That seemed to give them a lot of belief and they continued to take the game to the visitors. In the 20th minute, Black added another penalty after London Scottish back-row Matt Everard was yellow-carded.
With 14 men, the visitors managed to hit back almost immediately, though, a break by strong-running centre PJ Gidlow eventually seeing the ball spun out wide for Doneghan to score a converted try.
In the 26th minute, still with Everard off, fellow winger Pete Homan then added another try after a good pass from US Eagles scrum-half Robbie Shaw, full-back James Love again converting to turn the game on its head at 14-6.
Seven minutes prior to the interval a penalty from in front of the posts from Love extended that lead by another three points. He then added another just before the break and, at 20-6, London Scottish were in control.
The second half started slowly, but, with the London Scottish front-row well in command at scrum time, by now it was only a matter of time before Accies had a player sin-binned.
In the 52nd minute it was replacement prop Phil Cringle who was yellowed, just five minutes after coming on for Lewis Niven.
A bit of debate followed before – with Niven injured and unable to come back on – uncontested scrums were the order of the day, much to the visitors’ annoyance.
Four minutes later they did add another try, though, this time captain Mark Bright going over after good work from his pack.
At 25-6 to the visitors the match began to drift slightly and a number of substitutions did not help the flow. Most of the play was in the Accies’ half though and, with back-row Ross Rennie now in the sin-bin, London Scottish were awarded a penalty try with two minutes remaining.
In the dying seconds Homan was yellow-carded for the visitors, but it was their day.
Edinburgh Accies: N Godsmark; J Farndale, E Campbell, R Bonner, S Pecqueur; I Chisholm, A Black; A Allan, S McInally, L Niven, G Campbell, R McAlpine, H Watson, M Coman, R Rennie. Subs used: M Liness, P Cringle, A Toolis, C Reid, A Blair, I Berthinussen, M Coupar.
London Scottish: J Love; M Doneghan, O Grove, PJ Gidlow, P Homan; L Millar, R Shaw; M Irish, T Dunn, T Francis, P Spivey, A Karonias, C Pennycook, M Bright, M Everard. Subs used: J Kilbane, A Kwaznicki, L Thiede, T Hotson, D Newton, M Mantella.
Referee: N Correll (IRFU).