London Skolars were beaten 19-18 in the dying minutes of a close encounter at bottom-of-the-league South Wales Scorpions, who completed the double over Joe Mbu's side with the win.

Paul Emanuelli’s late drop goal handed the struggling Scorpions just their second victory of the season.

The Scorpions made life hard for themselves early on when they were reduced to 12 men after just nine minutes as Ashley Bateman was sin-binned for dissent.

As a result, the Skolars almost took advantage of the hosts’ numerical disadvantage but Erjon Dollapi saw his route to the try-line cut off.

The South Wales side gave away a string of penalties in the first half but still managed to hold the advantage at half-time, thanks to tries from Phil Carleton and Jordan Sheridan.

Carleton fought off two Skolars players and rolled over the line to score, before Sheridan placed the ball under the posts unchallenged from a penalty.

On the stroke of half-time, Emanuelli added another goal after Skolars’ Josh Sunley was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, and from the resulting penalty, Emanuelli made it 12-6 to the Welsh outfit at the break.

After the restart, Ryan McDonald battered his way through to score before Courtney Davies added the extras for the Londoners.

With the scores tied at 16 apiece, the Skolars re-took the lead seven minutes later when skipper Dave Williams muscled through the Scorpions’ defence, with Davies converting.

However, South Wales forced their way back into the contest as Jack Pring crossed the line to level once more.

In an error-strewn final 15 minutes it was the hosts who coped better and secured the points which won their first match since beating the Skolars at the beginning of June.

With just four minutes remaining, Emanuelli struck a decisive blow, scoring the goal which handed the Scorpions victory by a solitary point.