JUNIOR CUP: Belfast Harlequins Rugby Club II XV 6 v Dungannon Rugby Club II XV 43

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On Saturday 1st October a weakened Quins 2nd XV played Dungannon 2nd XV in the first round of the Junior Cup at Deramore.

The first half started well for the young Quins side dominating open play and the forwards pressure resulting in a penalty after 10 minutes play which Quins out half James Sheills converted putting Qiuns 3 – 0 infront.

Dungannon came back at the Quins line with good runs from their powerful backline but they could not convert this to points with the determined Quins defence. On 25 minutes a Quins indiscretion in front of the posts resulted in Dungannon Fullback, Michael Lawton bring the score to 3-3. Ten minutes later a missed tackle resulted in Dungannon scrum half Michael Kirkwood scoring out wide converted by Lawton, a score that was against the play putting them in the lead at 3- 10. Two minutes later a Dungannon indiscretion gave the opportunity to take a further 3 points taking the half time score to 6 – 10.

The second half started poorly for the home side with knock on’s and poor defence at the breakdown, this allowed Dungannon scrumhalf Michael Kirkwood to break the defence line and score an easy try. Quins settled down after the restart and again their forwards dominated the forward play but after a 22 metre driving maul the ball was knocked on handing possession back to Dungannon who scored under referee advantage. This was to be the sate of play for the rest of the match with the Home side conceding easy tries resulting in a score of 6 – 43.

It was a game of two halves and Quins will feel they gave the game away through silly mistakes.

New Coach, Mark Henderson sated “This was my first opportunity to see the guys play and I was very impressed with the first half team display and maybe more impressed with the forwards determination in the second half when basic mistakes flooded into the game letting the Dungannon experienced scrum half set up all their tries. We were up against strong opposition today with an under strength side but this is the nature of a Senior 2nd XV on an All Ireland weekend, when players are released, clubs play the hand they are dealt.

Team Captain “G” Gillespie said” we had a good start to the match and felt at half time the game was there to take, our defence had held well and we had many scoring opportunities, the second half stared poorly and guys just made basic errors letting Dungannon score easy tries”

Quins 2’s now have a 2 weak break and hopefully will be at full strenght for their next game against Malone 2nd XV at Deramore on 22nd October

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