Bears win in London
Bears work hard for a welcome victory
London Skolars 20 Coventry Bears 24
On Saturday afternoon, a set of long suffering fans at last had something good to celebrate, as
Coventry Bears clinched victory in London.
Not since the opening game of the season had the Bears won a League 1 encounter, and the run of fourteen consecutive defeats was enough to grind down anyone associated with the club.But on Saturday, the Bears fought back bravely in the sweltering city sun to clinch this game 20-24.
The kick off had been moved to1pm on account of the World Cup Quarter Final, and the home side got off to a flying start, crossing over the line in the first minute. Neil Thorman added two more and the Bears were already 6-0 down.
A couple more points from a penalty followed for the hosts, and then Lamont Bryan powered his way over with two Bears defenders still clinging on to him for the Skolars’ second try of the
afternoon. The deficit widened to 14-0 as the conversion sailed over between the posts.
Some inspiration was now needed to prevent the match completely slipping away, and this came from Chris Vitalini’s try and Ben Stead’s ensuing conversion.
Sensing this could be a tight game, the Bears elected to kick for goal rather than attempt another attack, and this decision proved a good one bringing the Bears right back into the game with the score at 14-8, which remained the margin until half time.
The Bears showed they meant business straight after the restart, as they gained first one free kick and then another free kick gave Kam Pearce Paul the opportunity to pounce on the ball and get a try for the away side. Stead was rock-steady as he levelled the scores with the conversion. And now Coventry Bears, so often fading in the second half, were in the ascendency as the Skolars started to look weary in the heat.
The comeback was complete as Hayden Freeman crossed over. The Bears were now in the lead for the first time, 14-18.
However, the home side still had something left in the tank as they seized on some sloppy play by the Bears who conceded two penalties on the trot, with further punishment coming from Mike Bishay’s try and the subsequent conversion. The Skolars had retaken the lead with the score now at 20-18.
Further twists and turns were to follow though as Skolars Mike Greenhalgh was sent off for a
dangerous tackle, giving the Bears a numerical advantage as the game neared its end.
Jason Bass was able to spot the extra space opening up and the ball was then onto Hayden Freeman who bagged his second with Steads conversion sealing the result at 20-24.
So, a win, and an away win too! Now brimful of confidence it’s three home games on the trot for the Bears. Time now to put on a show for the loyal fans at the Butts Park Arena.
This Sunday we take on Hemel Stags at the earlier kick off time of 2pm!