On Saturday 4th October the NEC Harlequins Under 19s ran out 48-3 convincing winners after a ruthless second half display that sank Nottingham.
In game of 2 halves, the young Quins side struggled to make any headway in a first half interrupted by mistakes and poor decision making. Young winner Dean Richards strode over for a try after the first prolonged period of pressure, fly half Luke Cousins missing the conversion 5-0. Nottingham hit straight back, and Quins lack of discipline was punished as Nottingham struck the ball through the uprights from a penalty - 5-3.
Shortly afterwards Quins, with a scrum just over the halfway, ran a move from the base of the scrum. Number 8 James Saha picked up the ball and fed scrum half Duncan James, who in turn fed winger Dene Richards. Richards drew his opposite number in a fed fullback Charlie Ainsbury on the outside to race down field and score in the corner, conversion missed to make it 10-3 at half time.
After fiery words at the break, Quins came out storming - a changed side. Dave McMeechin was the first to cross the line after an effective catch and drive from the forwards, with Cousins adding the conversion 17-3. Shortyl after that, following good work from the backs, wing Ovier Koloko powered over the line, again converted 24-3. Dene Richards soon raced over for his second try after good work from forwards and backs in the midfield, conversion missed 29-3. A failed clearance kick from Nottingham found tighthead prop and captain Mark Lambert on the wing, who showed all he has more to offer than just the scrum by powering his way over the line from 20 metres out 34-3. Try of the match followed soon after that, with Ainsbury making yards down the left of the field, before feeding replacement winger Tom Connor on the inside, who in turn popped the ball into flanker Dan Cheal who found Mike Brown on the inside to finish under the posts, converted to make it 41-3.
The last try of the afternoon completed a hatrick for Dene Richards. Luke Cousins, largely ignoring the 5 vs 2 overlap at his disposal put the ball high in the air for Richards to pluck and cross the line, final score 48-3.
This was a much improved performance from Quins, who must now build this momentum. 4 wins from 5, this has been a good start to the season.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.