On Saturday 27th September, on a glorious afternoon, the NEC Harlequins Under 19's ran out 41 - 7 victors against Warwickshire Development XV in a performance riddled with mistakes, yet with some rays of brilliance shining through.
After a steady start, Quins soon got on the scoreboard with a trademark forward lineout catch and drive, James Saha emerging from the "rubble" with the ball in hand. Tim McEwen missed the conversion 0-5. The shock sprung Warickshire into life who took the game to the visitors, applying pressure and could have gone over but for strong defence from Quins. In the 23rd minute, Harry Cripps stole the honours with a try in a similar fashion to the first, the conversion added. Shortly after that centre Mike Brown found space to cross the line for the 3rd try, McEwen converting 0-19.
In the second half Quins started in much better fashion, debutant fly half Luke Cousins kicking a penalty soon after the restart. Shortly after that, with great handling work from the backs leading to Tom Connor diving over in the corner, Cousins with the touchline conversion to make it 0-29.
From here the game dropped back in intensity and the number of basic handling errors and lost balls in contact prevented any real momentum being built up from either side. This deadlock was broken in the 60th minute, after a sneaky little inside pass from scrum half Duncan James allowed back rower Jack Woolnough to cross the line for a try, Cousins converting 0-36.
Warwickshire sprung to life, and with substitutions disrupting the Quins pattern of play, they broke clean through the middle of the field, and rounded the fullback to cross the line under the posts, for a try which brought the loudest cheer of the afternoon, 7-36.
Not to finish on this note, Quins hit straight back, and after a Warickshire clearance failed to make touch, fullback Ovier Koloko moved the ball wide, and with the backs attacking into space at pace, replacement winger Dan Owen was presented with time and space to finish the move with a well taken try in the corner, Cousins missing the conversion to finish the game at 7-41.
That makes it 3 wins out of 4 for the young Quins side, and they are looking forward to taking on Nottingham at Aldershot on Saturday, in what promises to be a repeat of the tough fixture last season!
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.