Grosvenor welcomed Belfast Harlequins 2nds to Gibson Park for this McCrea Cup quarter-final on a dry but blustery day.
Grosvenor started brightly and after only two minutes hooker Stuart Smyth intercepted the ball on the half way line to set up an attack that ended with a try for Johnny McCoubrey in the corner. 5-0. A few minutes later Peter Davison and Micah Stevenson attacked up the right wing and after some neat interpassing Neil Adams finished off a super try 10-0.
Quins fought back and scored a neat try off a 5m scrum. 10-7. With a few minutes left before the break, and rather against the run of play, the visitors took the lead with another fine try off a 5m scrum. 14-10.
From the restart young fullback Jack Breen fielded a long range kick and scythed his way through the Quins defence before offloading to Johnny McCoubrey for a try in the corner. This put a spring in the step of the Grosvenor players going in to the break. HT 15-14
From the restart prop James McMaster barged his way upfield to set up an attack up the right wing. Again some neat offloading, which was a feature of Grosvenor’s game all afternoon, created an overlap for Peter Davison to sprint in for a try. 20-14
Grosvenor’s tails were now up and from an attacking position on the Quins 22 outhalf Timmy Emerson dummied his way through for a super try under the posts. 27-14.
Quins rallied and launched a number of dangerous attacks but Grosvenor’s defence held firm, Micah Stevenson was arch-poacher at the breakdowns with a series of turnovers at key moments.
After 70 minutes Jack Breen launched another break from deep and chipped the last defender before regathering and slipping the ball inside to the supporting Pete Dawson who galloped over for another super try 34-14.
Not to be outdone, from the restart Timmy Emerson took off downfield from deep and following a chip and chase Neil Adams gathered to score the try 39-14.
Saving the best til last, in the dying minutes Timmy Emerson delivered an inch perfect cross field kick inside our 22 to Adam Skelton who made good yards before slipping the ball to Johnny Farquhar to finish off the move. 46-14 FT
Congratulations to both sides who played open attacking rugby throughout, making this cup tie a great spectacle for those watching. Ultimately it was Grosvenor’s tighter defence and clinical finishing that was the difference.
James McMaster, Timmy Emerson, Peter Davison and Jack Breen were all contenders but young Micah Stevenson gets this weeks Man of the Match. Prominent in both attack and defence, Micah was our key man at the breakdown and a constant thorn in Quins side all afternoon.
3rd XV update
Unfortunately the 3rds game with QUB 4th XV yesterday was postponed at short notice due to the unavailability of a referee.