AIB League 2: Belfast Harlequins 5 Malone 22

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Malone claimed the Ulster bragging rights in this AIB League 2 encounter at Derramore on Saturday 6th March. Prof Derrick Crothers reports.

On Thursday I was awakened by our local corncrake croaking raucously. Spring had arrived.

Unfortunately for Quins, it was to be Malone, the better team on the day, who had a Spring in their step before, during and after this match.

Indeed Quins were flattered to only be trailing 5-7 at half-time and Malone opened up in the second half to win 5-22scoring three tries to the hosts one.

The match highlights were as follows:

At 18 min Pentland converted Horner’s try for Malone. 0 – 7

From the restart McComb the Quins Captain,caught the ball on the full and scored in the LH corner at 19 min. 5 – 7

Olayisade replaced the injured BlakeKnox.

At 35 min Barker scored a 2nd try for Malone in the LH corner. 5 – 12

At 64 min Pentland kicked a good penalty. 5 – 15

At 78 min Hill scored Malone’s 3rd try from a ruck and Pentland converted. 5 – 22

In the 2nd half, Alan Rankin, Alatise Ale, Danny Annett and Robert Creighton replaced Logan, Morton, Neill and Atkinson(with Olayisade going to flanker).

Quins suffered too many turnovers in scrum,ruck and maul though their lineout was robust, if not perfect. Our attacking options were limited and as at Thomond we lost by two clear tries.

Quins started with: 15 Keith Pyper 14 Rory BlakeKnox 13 Michael Allen 12 William Stewart 11 Roger Kirkwood 10 Mark Kettyle 9 Michael Heaney 1 Tim Morton 2 Robert Logan 3 Richard Lutton 4 Gareth Rourke 5 Neil McComb(C) 6 Stephen Neill 7 Colin Atkinson 8 Chris McCarey.

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