Another 'must win' game, resulted in another solid performance from the Harlequin Amateurs. With their chance of promotion into a senior league now all but vanished, the Amateurs are playing to capture the highest possible league position to round off the season.
In the first league game of the campaign away to Mill Hill, the Amateurs threw away a winning start to the season through sloppy indiscipline. The same problems have dogged their season throughout and it was now time to call a halt on their faltering performances and to show some steely resolve to win through sheer hard graft and pure skill.
This was soon translated into points within the first few minutes when fly half Webster first dropped a peach of a goal (3-0), and then followed it up ten minutes later with a chip and chase over the defence, whom he beat in the race to touchdown by the posts. Wootton converted and the Amateurs led 10-0.
The Quins were dominant in so many phases of play, but shoddy workmanship after four or five passages kept handing the ball back to the opposition through turnovers or from being penalised. However, Mill Hill's handling skills seemed to desert them and, together with the pressure brought on them through the sheer weight of the pack and the Quins back line closing down their every move, they never troubled Quins in the first half.
It was Quins who scored again just before half-time when a grubber kick through the Mill Hill line was chased down by Wooton, who touched down first as the ball spilled over the line from the grasp of a Mill Hill defender. 15-0 to Quins at the break.
The second half was just as solid a performance by Quins, including one stunning passage of play along the left touchline that involved five or six drives followed by perfectly rucked ball to set-up the next flowing movement. It was like the culmination of training skills and team capability resulting in the perfect passage of play. Like in so many other games, it came crashing back down to earth when Quins then gave away a penalty having set up a superb scoring opportunity in midfield.
In fact Mill Hill were the winners of the second half by a penalty and an unconverted try to nil - consolation for their consistent efforts to break the Quins defence and a result of the Amateurs inability to sustain their levels of fitness.
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.