England: 10
Scotland: 6

Match report

A strong start to the second-half and a two-try finish was enough to put distance between England Community Lions and Scotland over at Ashton Bears on Saturday afternoon.

Scotland battled hard and trailed just 10-6 at half-time.

It was a combative opening with the visitors fashioning the first chance five minutes in before the Lions spilled an opportunity of their own in the 12th minute.

The Lions did eventually open the scoring after 21 minutes when a superb pass from Arben Pervizaj brought a try for Alex Golightly.

Seth Clapham was a thorn in England's side, creating a running chance for Jacob Robinson before a strong run himself.

Scotland did score next when a great piece of anticipation from Struan White saw the winger intercept a Nate Parker pass and Myles Michael converted to give them the advantage after 28 minutes.

Six minutes later and the Lions were in front again when Ashton Bears own, Jayden Aaron, stormed almost 60 metres and Zak Mannion goaled.

Two tries in the first ten minutes of the second half settled the Lions down as first Zavier Dele Charley beat three despairing defenders with a run to the line before Zak Mannion supported Lewis Pilling. Mannion and Lloyd Stainton missed the conversions, but it was now 18-6 with fifty minutes on the clock. 

Scotland fashioned another running chance after 56 minutes but some solid defence put White over the touchline. 

Six minutes later, Mannion's offload was superb and Lucas Mulqueeney and Golightly combined for a diving finish in the corner by Oli Shallcross. Tyler Sykes missed the conversion but added the ensuing penalty after Shallcross had been fouled in the act of scoring. 

Scotland rallied with Joe Clarkson twisting over in left corner but Michael couldn't goal. Nonetheless, it was 24-10 with 15 minutes remaining. 

Crucially, the next score went the way of the Lions as Alfie Cox sent Layton Dockwray through the middle and Sykes goal made it 30-10. Then just four minutes from time, Parker slid through some tired-looking tackles to confirm victory.

A magnificent run from Deiego Walker set the tone and Parker's shimmy and pace did the rest with Sykes adding his third goal to confirm the 36-10 win. 

England: Jaylen Conway, Diego Walker, Henley Donnan, Kian Goodhand, Oli Shallcross; Jack Bibey, Nate Parker; Arben Pervizaj, Stanley Beaumont, Alfie Cox, Zavier Dele Charley, Alex Golightly, Layton Dockwray; Lucas Mulqueeney, Lloyd Stainton, Jayden Aaron, Zak Mannion, Lewis Pilling, Tyler Sykes.

Tries: Golightly (21), Aaron (34), Dele Charley (45), Mannion (50), Shallcross (62), Dockwray (73), Parker (76).
Goals: Beaumont 0/1, Mannion 1/2, Stainton 0/1, Sykes 3/4.

Scotland: Lachlan Webster, Jacob Robinson, Seth Clapham, Henry Grierson, Struan White; Isaac Jepson, Joe Clarkson; Joe Miller, Myles Michael, Finlay Mortimer, Harry Roper, Charlie Benn, Drew Docherty; Caiden Macrae, Keir Fyfe, Sebastian Millar, Arran Hinshelwood.

Tries: White (28), Clarkson (66).
Goals: Michael 1/2

Words by Dave Parkinson
Picture Ben Challis Sport Photography