Harlequin Amateurs made it three wins from three this season against Old Streetonians 3s, but were left frustrated to not leave with the winning bonus point that could prove crucial come the end of the season.
Quins got the game underway and opted to play with the wind to their backs. With the conditions as they were, it really wasn’t a day for flowing, running rugby and both teams struggled to hold on to the ball for more than a few phases before spilling or throwing loose passes. Despite this, Quins were definitely on top and the majority of play took place inside the OS half, with the wind meaning the home side struggled to clear their lines. Eventually Jake Matthews got the first score of the afternoon, and his first in a Quins shirt, after diving over in the left corner after sustained pressure. Fly half James Summersett missed the conversion and the score remained at 0-5.
With Quins enjoying the majority of possession, the game continued to be played in OS territory with Si Rowland and Rocco Archidiacono, returning at loose head, putting in particularly strong displays. The Amateurs were soon cheering what they thought was their second score when Alex Horsfall put in a huge hit to dislodge the ball before chasing the loose ball and diving on it over the line, only for the referee to adjudge he’d knocked on in the process. However, it wasn’t long before Quins were awarded their second score when Joe Watkins sprinted in from the “22” to extend the visitors advantage. Summersett this time successful with the extras.
The game restarted with Quins resuming where they had left off - continuing to apply the pressure in the search for the next score. It wasn’t all Quins’ way though and Old Street were clearly fired up for the second half knowing that there was less than two scores in the game. It took until the 50th minute for Quins to get the ball to a winger, but when they did it was worth the wait. Jimmy Lynch, making his first start for the first XV, gathered the ball in space and turned on the afterburners to out sprint any would-be tacklers and score his first try for the club. Kick missed. 0-17.
Quins search for the bonus point hit a speed bump when inside centre Aaron Addis spent ten minutes on the naughty step for leading with the forearm, but once back up to a full compliment Quins stepped up a gear and substitute Sean Gorman bundled over from short range to score Quins fourth try after a smart break from James Summersett. With the extras made, Quins knew a single score would be enough for the bonus point. 0-24.
The final ten minutes were all about that elusive point. Jimmy Lynch again came close when he turned his opposite number inside out before almost gassing the fullback and scoring. Only a double movement preventing the score. A score that would have been fully deserved. Further pressure kept play in the OS “22”, and with the last play of the game Harry Stark drove himself over the try line only for the referee to spot another double movement. With that, Old Street cleared their lines and brought the game to a close.
The end of the game signalled the end of rugby in 2018 for Quins. We currently sit top of MMT3, two points clear of H&F in second. Quins now look forward to 2019, with an exciting conclusion to the league and a semi final appearance in the cup awaiting.
The TES sponsored Man of the Match went to Jimmy for providing one of the few moments of magic in the game and scoring on his first start. Honourable mentions must go to Rocco, Danny O’Connor, Kay Frazer and Seamus Walsh who all put in big shifts in the terrible conditions.
DoD could only really be given to James Summersett for providing so many “so bad, they’re good” moments. :)