Queen’s staged a second half comeback to snatch a 21 – 2-0 win against local rivals Malone in this Ulster Bank League 2 encounter at the Dub on Saturday afternoon.
The match featured an interesting midfield encounter between Ulster players Mark McCrea for Malone and David McIlwaine for Queen’s with both starting at inside centre. Also on view for Queen’s were Iain Henderson, returning from Ireland Under 20 duty and David McGuigan came on for 40 minutes in the second half.
The visitors got off to a determined start in this feisty encounter, Despite going a man down with an early yellow card for a high tackle, Malone were able to push up field and scrum half M Wilson darted over for the opening score. Pentland converted and the visitors led 0 – 7.
Queens struggled to find much fluency with frequent handling errors, but they eventually managed to move the ball wide to winger McCauley who showed good strength to touch down in the corner. Porter missed the conversion leaving the score at 5 – 7.
However, Malone enjoyed the bulk of possession and went further ahead when McCrea broke through in the centre to stroll over unopposed. Pentland converted and added a penalty before the break to give the visitors a 5 – 17 lead at half time.
Queen’s started the second half in a determined mood and chipped away at the lead with two penalties from Porter moving the score on to 11 – 17 and the home side spent most of the third quarter camped in the visitors half.
Malone defended well, and looked dangerous on the counter, but Queen’s eventually got the breakthrough they were looking for when second row Henderson spun free from the melee and powered over from twenty yards out. Porter converted putting Queen’s into a slender one point lead at 18 – 17.
As seems to be the fashion, there was still time for a few more twists as Malone hit back with a penalty to go back into the lead but with five minutes remaining Porter slotted this third penalty to give Queens the game at 21 – 20.
Queen’s (15-9) C Quinn, S McIlwaine, M Arneill, D McIlwaine, M McCauley, M Pyper, I Porter. (1-8) P Karayiannis, P Jackson, J Dixon, M Ferguson, i Henderson, P magowan, M Robinson, C O’Neill. (16-20) P McKeown, l bennett, C McKervill, D McGuigan, J Reekie.
Malone (15-9) P Baird, J Anderson, J Burgess, M McCrea, S Kelly, J Pentland, M Wilson. (1-8) L Barlow, D Maxwell, D Halliday, D Heron, N Alcorn, R Wilson, J Chapman, M Hadden. (16-20) S Baillie, A Coulston, S Beattie, G Moore, A Baird.