On Saturday (3rd May 2003), NEC Harlequins Under 21's finished their season on a high note with an emphatic 51-24 victory over their Northampton Saints counterparts at Franklins Gardens.
The game got off to a poor start for Quins, as the Northampton full back scored the opening try in the third minute of the game. This was a rude awakening for the visitors, who immediately hit back following the restart.
After securing quick possession in the midfield the ball was moved wide to Ugo Monye, who found himself in enough space to leave his opposite number in his wake and score under the posts, which Adrian Jarvis converted to get Quins back on level terms.
After an exchange of penalties kept the scores level, Tom Allen made a clean break to run in Quins second try from the halfway line. Jarvis added another penalty to make the score 18-10 at half-time.
At the start of the second half, it was the forwards turn to dominate. Applying extreme pressure on the Saints pack on their own line resulted in a penalty try being awarded, as the Northampton scrum used illegal tactics to stop a certain pushover score.
With a clear amount of daylight between the teams on the scoreboard, the Quins backs started to play with more confidence and really took the game to the Saints. After Max Wilcox scored a great individual try, the forwards continued to dominate providing the backs with plenty of ball to work with.
Henry Barratt used this to great effect, scoring a fine hat-trick of tries and showing great pace and some powerful running. The last of these was converted from the touchline by Wilcox, in what was his last game for Quins.
Northampton did manage to add a couple of tries to their tally and make the final score 51-24, but this was an outstanding performance and a fitting way for the Under 21's to finish their season.
The coaching staff would like to thank team manager Clive Rees and the team of Physio's for all their efforts this season. Most of all, Quins would to thank the players for all their hard work throughout the year and to wish those who will not be with the club next season the best of luck in the future
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.