Coventry Bears recovered from a second half London Skolars comeback to win 28-22 at the New River Stadium.
The Bears took the lead the just five minutes on the clock. Reece Rance was able to get in after the Skolars were unable to deal with a kick. Dan Coates scored the conversion to put the Bears up by six points.
They would double their advantage just before the 20 minute mark. Another mistake at the back saw Jack Dawson pick up a loose ball and go over. Coates was again on target with the conversion attempt.
Just before the half-hour, the Bears found their third try. This time, it was Kieran Sherratt who found a gap in the Skolars defence to go over. Coates scored the conversion as the Bears took an 18-point lead.
However, just a couple of minutes later, London pulled one back. Mike Greenhalgh was able to get to a Neil Thorman kick first and go over. Thorman was able to add the conversion.
It was soon two tries in three minutes for the capital side. Omari Caro intercepted a pass and ran the length of the pitch to score. Thorman could not add the conversion, meaning they trailed by eight points.
The first try of the second half was crucial, and it was Coventry who got it. Coates’ kick out to the wing was collected by Hayden Freeman, who went and scored. Coates was off-target with the conversion attempt.
Just three minutes later, London scored again to keep themselves in the contest. Lamont Bryan was able to get over from close range. Thorman scored the conversion to bring them back within six points.
Just past the hour, London completed the comeback and got level. Phil Lyon kicked forward, and was able to get his own grubber kick to score. Thorman added the extras.
However, they were level for just four minutes before Coventry scored their winner. Jordan Paga was able to get through a gap in the defence to get over. Coates converted to seal the win.
Both sides will start their League One campaigns next week. London welcome North Wales Crusaders to the New River Stadium next Saturday. Meanwhile, Coventry will welcome Barrow Raiders to the Butts Park Arena on Sunday.
London Skolars: Iliess Macani, Omari Caro, Jonah Varela, Kam Pearce-Paul, Charles Hammond, Phil Lyon, Jacob Thomas, Christian Gale, Tom Firth, Eddie Mbaraga, Adam Vranhos, Mike Greenhalgh, Rob Oakley.
Subs: Louis Singleton, Michael Sykes, Neil Thorman, James Tyas, Errol Carter, Marcus Hockey, Josh Dalton, Lameck Juma, Lamont Bryan.
Head Coach: Jermaine Coleman.
Coventry Bears: Nathan Hill, Reece Rance, Jack Dawson, Matt Welham, Hayden Freeman, Jordan Paga, Dan Coates, Peter Ryan, Chris Collimore, Josh Dunne, Jed Charlton, Elliott Townsend, Kieran Sherratt.
Subs: Dan Bedford, Delaine Bedford, Brad Sheridan, Douglas Chirnside, Morgan Dawes, Kadeem William, Harry Kaufman, Darius Hamilton.
Head Coach: Richard Squires.