Despite going down to 13 men at one stage ‘Quins showed steely determination to hold out and secure a vital home win. Referee Nigel Correll caught a dose of yellow fever in the second half with 3 home players being carded for seemingly innocuous infringements.
The spectators barely had time to settle down before the promising Mark Best danced over beside the post for the ‘Quins first try after just 2 minutes. The impressive Michael Heaney stepped up and slotted over the extra points. Just three minutes later another young gun, Stuart Olding, crossed under the posts for the home side’s second try. Heaney was again on target with the conversion.
Rob Keogh got ‘Rock on the board with a long range penalty on 10 minutes. This triggered resurgence in the visitors and 4 minutes later good work by their pack allowed Job Langbroek to power over for a try. Dave Godfrey added the conversion.
Rob Keogh added a long range drop goal at 18 minutes.
A knock to ‘Quins young play maker Stuart Olding saw him helped off the pitch. Michael Scholes came in off the wing to fill the out half position.
Heaney had the final say of the first half with a penalty goal on 26 minutes to increase the home sides lead to 4 points going into the break.
HT Score 17-13
In the opening minutes of the second half Heaney was to the fore again with two penalty attempts from far out. He just missed the first, but just a few minutes later he was bang on target with the second.
The last quarter of the game was the referee’s yellow patch. ‘Quins were brutally pinged at the breakdown and decisions at scrum had the home side and spectators bewildered. Mark Best was the first to see yellow.
Rob Keogh Kicked another penalty for ‘Rock to restore the gap to 4 points.
Just before Best returned to the fray, Mr Correll reached for another card from his deep pocket and flashed it in front of Rory Scholes on 70 minutes. With ‘Quins down to 13 men, ‘Rock oddly opted for the kick at goal rather than taking a scrum in front the depleted home side’s posts. Godfrey brought the visitors to within a point with a straight forward penalty goal.
With just six minutes remaining, ‘Quins were awarded a kickable penalty opportunity. However, unlike ‘Rock, they backed themselves and opted for the kick into the corner. The home side camped in the ‘Rock 22 and ‘Quins third try came when No. 8 Sean O’Connell picked from a scrum and feed the powerhouse prop Adam Macklin who took three defenders over the line. Heaney added the conversion.
With 2 minutes of injury time played, Tom Fraser was the third ‘Quins player to be yellow carded. The home side held on for a deserved home victory.
Starman: Sean O’Connell
Belfast Harlequins: Lutton, Fraser, Macklin, Rourke, Heatlie, Babe, Marshall, O’Connell, Heaney, Olding, Holmes, Best, Kettyle, Scholes, Scholes Subs: Greenaway, McComb, Ferguson, Rea, Hamilton.
Blackrock College: Lewis, Fisher, Philips, Dillon, Cullen, Carroll, Ryan, Langbroek, Muller, Godfrey, Rowan, McKeever, Keogh, Scott-Lennon, Simon-Byrne. Subs: Carroll, Mannion, McCague, Glynn, Scott-Lennon.
Referee: Nigel Correll (IRFU)