Thunder can't see off the Skolars

Gateshead Thunder failed to complete a hat-trick of consecutive wins over the bottom three sides in Co-op National League Two when they lost by eight points at home to London Skolars yesterday.

Gateshead Thunder failed to complete a hat-trick of consecutive wins over the bottom three sides in Co-op National League Two when they lost by eight points at home to London Skolars yesterday.

Both sides traded five tries but Thunder full-back Neil Thorman, who otherwise had a fine game, was unable to convert any of his side's touchdowns.

A roller-coaster game saw the lead change seven times as both sides were better in attack than defence, but the Skolars deservedly registered their first league win of the season.

Thunder struggled defensively and, after Odell Harris had squeezed in at the corner, Gareth Honor put London ahead.

A Mark Christensen 60m interception try reclaimed the lead for Gateshead before Skolars' playmaker Jamie Nowland converted his own try.

Tim Martin was then gifted a try, before quick hands involving several players put Skolars centre Pete Hodkinson in just before the break.

Trailing 16-12 at half time Gateshead came out with renewed vigour as Thorman scored twice inside eight minutes to again reclaim the lead. The full-back capitilised on Ryan Clarke's delayed pass for his first and then, after brother Paul - the Skolars' stand-off - was penalised, he dived over in the tackle.

However instead of going on to put the game beyond London, defensive frailties and errors allowed the visitors back into the game.

Jamie Nowland grabbed his second of the match on the hour when he wriggled out of a Clint Frazer tackle and then tagged on the extra two points.

There were still only two points in it going into the final 10 minutes but the visitors had the edge and, after Nick Hyde lost the ball in the tackle near the line, centre Ashley Tozer dropped his shoulder to hit the line and seal the win.

Gateshead thunder: Thorman, Sanderson, Stephenson, Christensen, Harris, Martin, Till, Cakacaka, Hyde, Frazer, Wooden, Nash, Williamson Subs: (all used) Clarke, Peers, McKinley, Parker

Referee: Paul Carr (Castleford)

Attendance: 278

SCORING: Nowland, Pen, 3mins, 0-2; Harris, Try, 6mins, 4-2; Honor, Try, 15 mins, 4-6; Christensen, Try, 18mins, 8-6; Nowland, Try, 21 mins, 8-10; Nowland, Con, 8-12; Martin, Try, 29mins, 12-12; Hodgkinson, Try, 38mins, 12-16; N.Thorman, Try, 46mins, 16-16; N.Thorman, Try, 54mins, 20-16; Nowland, Try, 59mins, 20-20: Nowland, Con, 20-22; Tozer, Try, 75mins, 20-26; Nowland, Con, 20-28

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