Second half fight back sees Quins down Irish in A League
20 March 2007 11:45am
Second half tries from Adam Thompstone and Danny Care, both converted by Andrew Mehrtens resulted in NEC Harlequins defeating London Irish 12-14 in their Guinness A League match at Sunbury last night (Monday 19th March). The visitors made the most of playing with a strong wind in the second half to claim a victory, having trailed 12-0 at the break.
Irish had the better of the opening exchanges, with locks Gary Johnson and Bradley Mockford dominating the lineout, while the back row of Olivier Magne, Declan Danaher and Richard Thorpe used their experience to good effect in broken play to give the home side plenty of possession.
The Exiles scored the first points of the match through full back Dominic Shabbo, who touched down in the right corner at the end of the first quarter, though fly half Ed Lewis-Pratt missed the difficult conversion. In the fifth minute of first half injury time, centre Charlie Gower combined with David Howells to send the winger through for the home sides second try. With Lewis-Pratt adding the extras, it meant Irish led 12-0 at the halfway stage.
Quins eventually opened their account on the scoreboard shortly before the start of the final quarter, with Thomspstone crashing over in the corner for the visitors first try. Mehrtens converted from wide out that cut the deficit back to five points (12-7).
What would prove to be the match winning score followed just five minutes later, with replacement Danny Care racing over to score by the posts. It presented Mehrtens with a staight forward conversion and he made no mistake in adding the two extra points that put Quins into the lead for the first time (12-14).
In the time that remained, Mehrtens used the wind to his advantage as some excellent tactical kicking kept the Exiles pinned back in their own half, while the Quins defence held firm to give the visitors a victory.
Final score, 12-14.
NEC Harlequins XV: 15. Kevin Fisher, 14. Adam Thompstone, 13. Tosh Masson, 12. Seb Jewell, 11. Charlie Amesbury, 10. Andrew Mehrtens, 9. Steve So'oialo, 1. Aston Croall, 2. James Hayter, 3. Mark Lambert, 4. Nicolas Spanghero, 5. Simon Miall, 6. Phil Burgess, 7. Luke Sherriff, 8. Tom Guest
Replacements: 16. Jimmy Richards, 17. Dave Millard, 18. Simon Gaynor, 19. Marcus Ripley, 20. Danny Care, 21. Will Maddocks, 22. Rory Damant
Tries: Thompstone, Care
Conversions: Mehrtens (2)
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.