The Skolars cemented their place in the Shield Final with a hard-fought win over an All Golds side that was largely second best in the first period but worked hard in the second to threaten a comeback, which ultimately proved unsuccessful.

In a tight first half, the All Golds were forced on the back foot for much of the forty minutes and it is to their credit that they only conceded a single score.

The Skolars’ Ben Pointer was held up over the All Golds line three times in the first period without grounding the ball as the home side created a number of chances as they probed for an opening.

The All Golds had few opportunities and the Skolars had the answers to everything that was thrown at them.

The only try of the half came after 21 minutes and followed some fine defence that saw Pointer foiled for the third time.

Eddie Mbaraga took the ball in from the play-the-ball and offloaded late to Mike Bishay who raced through a huge hole in a surprised All Golds defence to score under the posts. Jy-Mel Coleman knocked over the first of his four goals.

Two minutes into the second period, good hands from the Skolars teased out a hole in the All Golds defence and Smokie Junor scrambled over in the corner.

Immediately afterwards, the second of three heavy showers hit the ground. Play naturally got scrappy with the players having to contend with a slippery ball and pitch.

The Skolars extended their lead through two Coleman penalties and looked to have secured the points with a 16-0 lead.

However, the All Golds recovered the ball from the restart and had a good spell of possession during which time they opened their account.

Ben Stead’s superb pass drew in the Skolars defence and gave Kislingbury a massive hole to run into. The centre easily sidestepped Bishay to touch down under the posts, Stead’s conversion gave the All Golds hope for the last ten minutes.

However, despite their efforts, they just couldn’t find a second breakthrough that would have given the Skolars a more worrying last few minutes.

Having seen a promising position in the Shield evaporated after four defeats in six games so far, the All Golds will be hoping to end their season next week at home against the Stags with a win


SKOLARS: Mike Bishay; Smokie Junor, Lameck Juma, Michael Brown, Jacob Ogden; Jy-Mel Coleman, Charlie Lawrence; Robert Butler, Ben Pointer, Lamont Bryan; David Williams, Eddie Mbaraga; Ryan Chester; INTERCHANGE: Phil Lyon, Louis Robinson, Michael Greenhalgh, Kazeem Faturoti Edwards

Tries: Bishay (21), Junor (42)
Goals: Coleman 4 from 4

ALL GOLDS: Alex Gaskell; Mo Agoro, Phil Cowburn, Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow; Jack Mitchell, Ben Stead; Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, Luke Stephens, Harrison Elliott; Kadeem Williams, Billy Brickhill; Danny Fallon; INTERCHANGE: Steve Parry, James Mason, Joe McClean, Harry Kidd

Tries: Kislingbury (70)
Goals: Stead 1 from 1

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-14, 0-16, 6-16

All Golds Man of the Match: Ben Stead

Penalty count: 8-7
Half-time: 0-6
Referee: Brandon Robinson