In front of a good crown after the 1st team victory on Saturday September 13th, NEC Harlequins Under 19's saw off the challenge of midlands side Barkers Butts in a game of 2 halves.
Quins started strongly from the kick off, with the pack dominating the early exchanges through some powerful drives and support work. This platform soon paid off, with the Quins back line moving the ball down the blindside, a near dropped ball was turned into an opportunity by centre Matt Baker with a deft chip kick through for fullback Sean Crowley to come onto. With only 1 to beat, Sean crossed the line to open the scoring. Wing Tim MCEwen converting to make it 7-0.
From the restart Quins maintained the momentum, and after a good running line from hooker Marlow Warrington set up a ruck in an ideal attacking position, centres Tosh Masson and Matt Baker combined to send Crowley through a hole to claim his second try under the posts, McEwen adding the extras (14-0).
Barkers Butts then came back, and started to play with the ball a little wider - testing the Quins defence. But for a few last gasp tackles, Barkers would have been on the scoreboard earlier. the young Quins side were soon to hit back though. From a ruck, loosehead prop Doug Spencer appeared with the ball and stood still - a lead followed by every other player on the field. Scrumhalf Duncan James, recognising that the referee has not blown his whistle, grabbed the ball and attacked the line, putting flyhalf Mike Brown through a good hole to add the 3rd try under the sticks, McEwen again converting to hammer the points home (21-0) at half time.
The second half was another game. Quins started poorly, but to the credit of Barkers Butts who came into the second half with ferocity. After a series of handling errors and whistle blowing, Barkers struck first blood - a perfectly timed move to send their winger into space down the touchline for a 50 metre try, the conversion added (21-7). However the game slumped back into a chain of errors, with only brief respite for a final Quins try on the blindside from captain Mark Lambert to finish the game at 26 - 7.
Despite the win, this was not a great performance from the Quins Under 19's, and the attitude of the players at the end of the game was one of commitment to improve. Next week the team is away to Bath, for what will be a big challenge
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.