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UCD Enjoy Seven-Try Rout Of ‘Quins

UCD Enjoy Seven-Try Rout Of ‘Quins

UCD ran in seven tries as they began their Ulster Bank League campaign with a bang, beating Belfast Harlequins by a clear 28 points at Deramore Park.

Three tries in the first half and four in the second were more than enough to see the students go home with maximum points, against a Belfast Harlequins that lacked cohesion at times.

‘Quins made a confident start, with early pressure in the UCD 22 resulting in a penalty being awarded to the home side.

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Stuart Olding, a recent Grand Slam winner with the Ulster Under-20s, was on target with a straightforward kick in front of the posts.

Poor communication between the home forwards allowed the ball to bounce from the restart which UCD secured and winger Barry Daly pounced to score his side's first try of the match. James Thornton added the conversion.

'Quins seemed to be in a daze after the unexpected try and UCD were soon back in the home 22, lock Emmet MacMahon ghosting past an absent defence to score the students' second try. Thornton was on target again with the extra points for a 14-3 lead.

The hosts had a chance to narrow the gap after 14 minutes when they were awarded another close range penalty, however the usually reliable Olding missed it.

UCD were confident enough in their ability to snub a clear penalty kick at goal and opt for the corner with just 10 minutes of the first half remaining.

They drove for the line from the resultant lineout and 'Quins were able to hold them up over the line, resulting in a home scrum.

UCD regained possession from a lineout and with only six minutes of the half remaining, their lively openside Mark Groarty was unstoppable from close range at after a superb break from Sam Coghlan Murray caused havoc. Thornton again added the conversation for 21-3.

The second half started much like the first for 'Quins, with UCD scoring two tries. The first from centre Alex Kelly, two minutes in, clinched the bonus point, with Thornton on target again.

The second was scored by UCD's back row veteran – the 23-year-old Danny Kenny. Thornton missed the conversion attempt on this occasion.

30 points adrift, 'Quins had two choices, let their heads go down and allow the floodgates to open, or regroup and try and salvage something from the match. Thankfully for the home crowd, they chose the latter.

Within ten minutes the home side had regained some composure and their forwards started to dominate. Rory Scholes danced over in the corner for his side's first try afteer 53 minutes. Olding missed a difficult conversion.

However, from the restart UCD gained possession and the 'Quins defence was caught napping, allowing Kenny to strike for his second try. The extras were added by Thornton.

'Quins scored two more tries in quick succession by Adam D'Arcy and Mark Kettyle which left them hunting for another try to salvage a bonus point from the match.

With only minutes remaining, 'Quins were pressurising the visitors' line and the bonus looked possible. However, a wayward pass was intercepted by McGroarty who popped it to Daly with a clear run to score his second in the corner.

Referee: Darragh McCormack (IRFU)