England: 18
Scotland: 4

Match report

England Community Lions made it two wins from two in 2023 with a hard-fought six-try win over Scotland. 

Two tries in the first three minutes set them on their way when after pushing close, Josh Blinkhorn dived over from dummy half. Harvey Nelson goaled and was on target following a try of his own. This came after Luke Sutcliffe and Henry Ogden moved play down the left and Nelson charged the remaining thirty metres.

Scotland responded with a good try of their own, taking advantage of a set restart before fullback Hayden Cummings bounced away from a challenge, raced through a gap and finished well, although it proved too far out for the conversion from Max Macleod. 

With more pressure applied to the defence by the Lions, there was little that Scotland could do when Blinkhorn plundered his second try after 19 minutes and Nelson's third goal made it 18-4.  

Scotland battled well for the rest of the half with Cumming and halfback Max  Shelton never far from the action and loose forward Isaac Reid doing well against a Lions pack that was given a boost from the bench by Malachi Price and Tom Farren.

The second half started with the Lions missing a couple of scoring opportunities but after forcing Scotland to kick from their own twenty, Harry Sheridan collected on halfway and shifted left before skirting around the defence and into the corner for a try that was easy on the eye. Nelson couldn't goal.

Next debutant Josh Hopkins supported Jack Lawler to finish a flowing move in the 56th minute, with Nelson making it 28-4 with the conversion. 

Sheridan was sin binned for a high tackle and although Scotland enjoyed some attacking possession, the Lions defended well, forcing Nathan Preston in touch. 

With the final move of the game, the Lions refused to give in and Daniel Knott found a way to the lin for Nelson to complete the scoring with his fifth goal to bring up 14 points. 

Player of the game went to Lions scrum-half Devan Sharp who kept the team ticking throughout and was a dominant voice while Hayden Cumming collected the award for Scotland. 

England: Harry Sheridan, Daniel Knott, Oliver Smart, Henry Ogden, Harley Nelson; Cameron Robinson, Devan Sharp' Dylan Grears, Josh Blinkhorn, Armand Jozef Palinkas, Keane Elms, Ben Metcalf, Luke Sutcliffe; Tom Farren, Jack Lawler, Malachi Price, Lewis Davies, Josh Hopkins.

Tries: Blinkhorn (1, 19), Nelson (3), Sheridan (49), Hopkins (56), Knott (70).
Goals: Nelson 5/6.

Scotland: Hayden Cummings, Max Macleod, Frazer Murray, Cam Cullen, Nathan Preston; Alfie McClean, Max Shelton; Frazer McCauley, Gabriel Lewis, Jacob Bloxham, Gregor McKinnon, Jacob Grielson, Isaac Reid; Nils Johnson, Reece Smethurst, Jack Suddick, Regan Lofthouse, Callum Bovill, Harrison Pendlebury, James Wells.

Try: Cummings (8)
Goal: Macleod 0/1.


Words by Dave Parkinson
Picture: Ben Challis Sport Photography