Skerries up to second after win over ‘Quins
SKERRIES moved up to second spot in the Division 2B table after earning a hard-fought bonus-point win over basement side Belfast Harlequins at breezy Holmpatrick on Saturday.
A large and expectant crowd turned out, perhaps expecting an easy afternoon, but the young ‘Quins team had other ideas.
From the outset they showed their intentions with aggressive rucking and strong running from their big pack and Skerries were caught off-guard and quickly conceded two penalties.
Harlequins out half Timmy Emerson pointed to the posts for the second of these kicks and duly converted.
It took until the 10th minute for Skerries to start stamping their authority on the game. From a lineout on the 10-metre line they took a ball off the top from Jim Mulvaney and quick hands saw Lorcan Jones put away down the wing, only to be stopped just short of the line by an excellent lastditch tackle from the impressive ‘Quins full back Mark Glover.
Excellent hard running by Chris Wilkinson and Barry Murphy kept Skerries on the front foot, the pack started to assert themselves against the bigger ‘Quins pack and excellent scrummaging by Cormac Marrey, Chris Tonge and Mark Nally kept the visitors’ scrum under pressure for the whole afternoon.
Skerries continued to probe and could have had a couple of tries but for excellent defence by ‘Quins. Just on the half-hour, though, the relentless pressure saw the hosts open their account.
An excellent lineout maul was stopped just shy of the line, Skerries recycled and drives by Cormac Marrey and Mark Nally were stopped but created enough of a hole for Eoghan Carron to dive over for the first try. Billy Mulcahy converted to give Skerries a deserved 7-3 lead.
They were on the score board again within three minutes when Billy Mulcahy fed a quick ball to Lorcan Jones and his quick hands put Dara Lowndes in for Skerries’ second try which Mulcahy converted.
In the 38th minute Skerries went over again for a try. This time patient work by Paul Devitt and Chris Tonge saw the ‘Quins defence sucked in. A quick ball from the ruck saw Joe Glennon feed the speedy Dara Lowndes who ran in untouched for his second try of the day. Mulcahy added the conversion and Skerries went in at half-time 21-3 ahead.
The second half saw Skerries playing into a strengthening breeze, and driven forward by out half Timmy Emerson and aided by the wind ‘Quins pinned Skerries into their 22.
Big tackles by Micky Sherlock and Paul Devitt kept the Skerries line intact, though, and the impressive front row again came up trumps, winning a scrum penalty on their own five-metre line.
‘Quins continued to attack, however, and in the 53rd minute they forced a penalty on the 22-metre line and the resulting kick for the posts was successful.
Four minutes later more excellent rucking by ‘Quins saw Skerries penalised for holding on and ‘Quins again opted to go for the posts and the successful kick brought the score to 21-9.
‘Quins continued to search for their opening try and retained possession through 14 phases, but excellent defence by Skerries eventually saw the ball knocked on.
However, in the 68th minute the home defence was finally breached, with full back Glover going over in the corner, and although the difficult conversion was sent wide Skerries’ lead was now reduced to seven points.
The result remained in doubt until three minutes from time when Skerries’ Chris Wilkinson took a flat pass and drove at the ‘Quins defence. A quick ball from the ruck released Micky Sherlock who took it into contact before releasing the ball to Maurice Mcauley who ran over under the posts for Skerries’ bonus point try. Paul Devitt added the conversation.
SKERRIES: Ross Gordon; Lorcan Jones, Dara Lowndes, Micky Sherlock, Paul Devitt; Billy Mulcahy, Eoghan Carron; Cormac Marrey, Chris Tonge, Mark Nally; Joe Glennon, Jim Mulvaney; Chris Wilkinson, Barry Murphy, Tom Mulvaney. Replacements: Kieran Leonard, Johnny Sherwin, Tom O’hare, Ruairi Woods, Maurice Mcauley.
Try scorer Eoghan Carron.