Belfast Harlequins welcomed Blackrock College to Deramore Park on Saturday afternoon for an AIL 2B promotion playoff semi final.
Report and pictures by Cyril Boyd.
It was a cracking game of rugby at Deramore. The visitors started off strongly, and after being held up just short of the line, Blackrock’s, Liam McMahon crashed over the line to set up an easy conversion for Peter Quirke to give the visitors a 0 – 7 lead.
Quin’s defence was put under a lot of pressure from good running rugby and it came as no surprise when the visitors increased their lead to 0 – 14, Hugo Godson-Treacy running in a great midfield try near the posts for Quirke again to convert.
The home team then began to get some momentum going with their scrum paying dividends and it was a rolling maul from one of these which took them to the Blackrock line, and with No 2 Steven Weir at the base, a penalty try was awarded for a Blackrock indiscretion.
However, Blackrock had the final say in a busy first half with Matthew Dwan going over in the corner to take the score to 7 – 19 as the teams changed ends.
The second half started off with a bang as Blackrock’s Quirke went from kicker to try scorer with a fine breakaway down the left wing. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score at 7 – 24.
Quin’s needed a response and after getting close to the line on a number of occasions, it was No 7, Jan Andress who went over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The home side were back on the scoresheet minutes later when No 15, Mark Glover took a great pass on the halfway line and showed the defence a clean pair of heels to take the score to 17 – 24.
Unfortunately, for the home side, ‘Rock were able to keep their noses in front and their captain, No 15 Brian Colclough went over for what looked like the clinching try midway through the final quarter.
After a lengthy disruption and a pitch change, due to a serious injury to one of the Quins players, the match was eventually called with Blackrock good value for their 17 – 29 win. The Dublin outfit will now travel to Greystones for the promotion playoff final.