JOSH Atkinson scored a hat-trick of tries as Oxford RL recorded a shock 24-20 win at home to London Skolars to reach the semi-final of the Kingstone Press League 1 Cup.

And the Blues left it late, with Atkinson scoring his third try in the 80th minute to secure a victory over the more experienced and established Skolars.

Their reward is a last-four trip to another big name, Barrow, on April 28 or 29.

Oxford opened the scoring when swift cross field handling released Curtis Macdonald to touch down in the corner, Harvey Burnett just failing with the conversion.

The first half was littered with penalties, a large majority going in the visitors’ favour which gave them good territory to score two unconverted tries for an 8-4 lead.

Atkinson produced an excellent finish fending off a tackler and diving into the corner for an unconverted try which levelled the scores at half-


The Blues delivered the first try after the break as Atkinson again finished well in the corner, with Burnett’s radar fixed as he kicked from the touchline to make it 14-8.

The Skolars replied with a try by the side of the sticks to level it up again.

Oxford regained the lead following a perfect kick to the corner for the leaping Jordan Gill to coolly gather and score.

No conversion left it 18-14 and disallowed tries for both sides added to the tension.

Red cards appeared firstly for Skolars after a suspected gouging incident and then to Oxford winger Macdonald following a melee.

After resisting well, Oxford’s defence was broken by a short kick that fell nicely for Skolars to score a try that was converted for a 20-18 lead

With the minutes ticking away, strong clearing runs opened space for Atkinson to chip and chase.

The Skolars full back misjudged the bouncing ball.

Atkinson gathered it and completed his hat-trick under the posts to give Burnett his first easy conversion and seal a famous victory.