Scotland Win Bowl At London MX9s

By GW - September 9 2007
Scotland Win Bowl At London MX9s
Dene Miller Scotland recovered from two early defeats to won the London MX9s International Bowl at New River Stadium on Sunday evening. The Scots lost their opening group game to eventual winners France, 18-4, trailing 14-0 at the break after struggling to gain any possession.
They improved after the break, Alistair Leighton-Scott scoring from Dene Miller’s pass following sustained Scotland pressure.

An even first-half against Wales saw the score pointless at the break only for Wales to race in three tries in three minutes after half-time to lead 18-0. Aiden Oakley pulled a try back on the right with two minutes left, as the Bravehearts went down 18-4 again.

That put Scotland into the Bowl semi-final after lunch where they trounced Germany. New boy Scott Clendenning-Fenton got Scotland off to a fine start with a great show-and-go solo effort on two minutes only for Germany to immediately level. But Miller finished off a move down the left and teenage debutant Doug Hann finally found his form with the boot, converting for 10-4. From the kick-off, Tony Williams sent Leighton-Scott away down the left and a minute later Leighton-Scott raced clear again and converted his own try to make it 20-4 at the break.

Miller went in from half-way after half-time and converted, and, after Mike Benson led the way with a magnificent display of defensive rugby, scrum-half Jamie Smith broke clear to score under the posts and kicked the conversion on the whistle to complete a 32-4 romp.

Scotland had improved with each game and knew they had to perform again to see off a hard Serbian side in the final. But Leighton-Scott got them off to a fine start, breaking clear on the left after two minutes, Hann converting, and Miller’s superb solo effort on five minutes put Scotland in charge. Serbia pulled a try back but Leighton-Scott finished off a great move by Clendenning-Fenton and Miller to return the lead to 12 points.

Scotland had to be at their best either side of the break, desperately defending the line. But when Scotland Under-19 international Aiden Oakley flew down the right wing to three minutes later, and Hann kicked his fourth successive drop goal conversion of the game, they led 24-4 and the game was up.

Serbia reacted poorly and had two men sent-off for dissent and from the resulting penalty, a clever kick and chase saw Oakley get a fingertip to the ball in-goal and Scotland had won 28-4.

Scotland’s Player of the Tournament went to centre Mike Benson for an awesome display of defensive work on top of his creative contribution, while prop Tony Williams lifted the Bowl as skipper.

France beat London Origin in the Cup Final while Great Britain Students, featuring Scotland Students Stu Dunbar and Jim Morrow, beat South Africa Wild Dogs in the Plate Final.

Group 3:
v France – Lost 4-18 (0-14 at half-time)
Try: Leighton-Scott.

v Wales - Lost 4-18 (0-0)
Try: Oakley.

Bowl Semi-Final:
V Germany – Won 32-4
Tries: Clendenning-Fenton, Miller 2, Leighton-Scott 2, Smith.
Goals: Hann, Leighton-Scott, Miller, Smith.

Bowl Final:
V Serbia – Won 28-4
Tries: Leighton-Scott 2, Miller, Oakley 2.
Goals: Hann 4.

Scotland:
Tony Williams – Leigh Miners Rangers
Mike Benson – Kingston Warriors
Pete Smith – Ipswich Rhinos
Doug Hann – London Skolars – 5 goals
Matt Tilly – Southgate Skolars
Ewen Drummond – Kent Ravens
James Smith – Fife Lions – 1 try & 1 goal
Neil McAlonie – Fife Lions
Lee Spence – Fife Lions
Scott Clendenning-Fenton – Coventry Bears – 1 try
Keir Bell - London Skolars
Aiden Oakley – Kent Ravens – 3 tries
Alistair Leighton-Scott – Ipswich Rhinos – 5 tries & 1 goal
Dene Miller – St Albans Centurions – 3 tries & 1 goal
Eric Stewart – South London Storm

Coach: Scott MacGillivray (Fife Lions)
Manager: Gavin Willacy (Southgate Skolars)