NEC Harlequins continued their pre-season run of victories when their second XV won 29 -19 against London Welsh under lights at the Stoop (Friday 29th August 2003). Matt Moore scored the first try for Quins and three more followed, scored by Jim Evans, Ace Tiatia and Simon Keogh.
The first half was very much in London Welsh's favour, Quins started with a knock on and then what seemed to be an endless array of penalties against the home side began.
Keogh on the wing showed a fine display of pace and a swift pass to the right set up Adrian Jarvis, who made a good break through the centre. The move ended with a scrum about five metres out to the home side.
Evans had a solid performance in the lineouts and another speedy break by Keogh after eight minutes came close to being a scoring opportunity. With the Quins pack under pressure, it was up to the backs to move the ball out wide and take on the London Welsh defence.
London Welsh made a break up the left and some poor defence by Moore allowed them to gain valuable ground. Tiatia was penalised and the Welsh kicked for touch. With the advantage of being only five metres out, the visitors attacked hard and hooker C. Ritchie scored in the corner from a move off the front of the lineout. The try was converted by fly half Seb Fitzgerald. (0-7, 24 minutes)
The Welsh continued to dominate and a rolling maul from the restart saw them break through the centre, and some solid defence by Moore stopped them short of the line. With the forwards under pressure again, the scrum was turned 180 degrees and scrum half T. Lewsey scored the second try of the game which was also converted. Quins were down 0-14 half an hour into the match.
Moore answered back with the first Quins try of the game shortly after a good restart and a break from Jarvis. The fly half passed to Kai Horstmann who continued to break through the Welsh defence before passing to Moore. Jarvis continued his good form with a successful conversion. (7-14, 33 minutes)
Quins entertained with some good phases of play and positive attacking play from Tiatia, Jarvis, Horstmann and Worsley that almost resulted in a try for Keogh on the left wing. To the disappointment of the Stoop fans he was tackled into touch just five metres out.
The disappointment did not last long as Tiatia made another break and passed to Jim Evans who crossed the line to score. Jarvis converted to bring the scores level. (14-14, 41 minutes)
The mad flourish of activity continued when crowd favourite Tiatia scored in the right corner and Jarvis slotted the conversion putting the score at 21-14 going into half time.
The second half started with what appeared to be an injury when captain Luke Sheriff went down. To the relief of Quins management he was soon up on his feet. With a change to the forwards, Ceri Jones came on for Mike Worsley, but the half started off scrappy and did not improve much for Quins when Tiatia was sin binned after a mere 6 minutes. London Welsh winger J. Swords then went on to score in the corner after 51 minutes. The conversion was missed taking the score to 21-19.
To loud applause, Tiatia returned to field 19 minutes in and Quins fortunes started to change. Jarvis was replaced by Andy Dunne who soon made his presence known with a penalty kick. (24-19, 24 minutes)
With Evans impressing in the lineouts, Quins props Jon Dawson and Jones got plenty of ball. Keogh, another of the home side's notable players was the last scorer of the match with a well deserved try in the closing seconds. Dunne missed the conversion leaving the score at 29-19 at the final whistle.
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.