AIL 2B Playoff Semi Final
Updated: Apr 25
Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park
More than one hundred travelling supporters made the trip north for our biggest match of the season thus far.
The weather gods were smiling on us as the two teams took to the pitch in glorious sunshine.
We kicked off with the wind behind us, a wind that got progressively stronger as the match went on.
Rock started on the front foot, with powerful attacking runs from our forwards.
Our back line looked to have an added spark too.
On 8 minutes we were awarded a penalty, out wide, for a high tackle.
Kicker Quirke lined it up and just missed.
With 11 minutes gone, their Fly-Half saw yellow for a deliberate knock on.
From the resultant scrum, Harlequins regained possession and kicked for touch.
From the line out, we went through phase after phase, showing great composure as we patiently awaited our chance to get over their line.
We needed to score to take advantage of all the hard work and score we did.
Liam McMahon with the honours.
Kicker Quirke split the posts with the conversion.
0 : 7
On 27 minutes, James Burke broke from the half way line and made 40 metres.
A last gasp tackle was all that prevented him from scoring.
Harlequins regained possession and kicked for touch.
The ball didn’t make the side line.
Mark Edwards took the catch, moved the ball along the back line, Sam Murphy broke two tackles, passed to Hugo Godson-Treacy, who scored.
Conversion was good.
0 : 14
It was over the half hour mark before Harlequins made it into our half.
On 33 minutes they made some ground with a rolling maul, off a line out.
The ref awarded them a penalty Try as Burkey was deemed to have taken down the maul.
A yellow card saw our #8 head to the side line for ten minutes.
7 : 14
Despite being down to fourteen men, we pushed on.
Two minutes before the break, a line out on their 22, led to Mathew Dwan scoring in the corner, after some fine play by forwards and backs alike.
Difficult kick missed.
7 : 19
Harlequins kicked off the second half with the wind, now quite strong, at their backs.
On 47 minutes, the ball came to Peter ‘Kicker’ Quirke inside his own half.
He dummied, ran hard, dummied again and once again and scored in the corner.
Difficult conversion attempt missed.
By now the home fans were silent and one could be forgiven for thinking that the Rock support were the only ones at the match.
7 : 24
From a Harlequins line out, they again set up a rolling maul.
Great defence by our pack, saw Ciaran Cassidy holding them up over our line.
7 : 24
For the next twenty minutes or so, decent defence from both sides, saw most of play in the middle third of the pitch.
However, from a penalty kick, we had a line out just inside their 22.
After eight phases of play, Edwards chipped to the corner.
Captain Cokes jumped highest to catch the bouncing ball and scored.
Kick just wide.
7 : 29
Two minutes later, Harlequins scored a Try, with substitute Joel Dundas scoring in the corner.
12 : 29
On 76 minutes, the Harlequins captain, Mark Glover, scored a fine Try with a jinking run from the half way line.
17 : 29
With a minute to go in the match, the substitute Harlequins full back, Callum Power, suffered a most unfortunate leg injury, which led to the match being delayed for twenty minutes.
All of us at Rock wish Callum a speedy recovery.
The ref moved the match to the second pitch, to allow the injured player to receive treatment and play resumed with one minute remaining.
Rock held onto possession until the minute elapsed, then kicked to touch and the ref blew the whistle to bring proceedings to a close.
17 : 29
Next up is the AIL Division 2B Playoff Final vs Greystones in Dr. Hickey Park on Saturday next, April 30th.
Kick off is 2:30pm
We are hoping that all supporters, past and present will make the journey and get behind our lads as they give one final push for promotion.
Keep an eye on our supporters WhatsApp group and social media accounts for news, in the build up to the match.