Yatton 36-29 Bristol Harlequins
By Billy Mackay
Match report by Clive Hall
YATTON EDGE OUT 'QUINS IN CLOSE CONTEST
BRISTOL HARLEQUINS 29 - YATTON 36
With both sides in the lower half of the table, Yatton were looking to improve their position against bottom of the table Harlequins. Even so, Yatton expected a close game and were not denied by a Harlequins side who rose to the challenge with a gritty performance that made a mockery of their lowly league position.
The game was played in damp overcast conditions, with perhaps the soft ground favouring the forward play of the home side, who throughout the game utilised their bigger forwards to punch holes in the Yatton defence. Yet it was Yatton who were off to a flying start with a unconverted try by Chris Quinn. Shortly after, a blistering run by arguably "man of the match" Pete Quinn found Ed Ryder who crossed for another unconverted try. With ten points in as many minutes, Yatton were on top of their game, but Harlequins hit back aggressively, as their forwards and backs combined to penetrate Yatton's sloppy defence for a try in the top corner. With the conversion added, Yatton's lead was cut to three points.
The lead was extinguished as 'Quins, running from deep, scored another converted try. Yatton knew they were now in a game, and chasing a four point deficit it was the individual brilliance of Yatton's No.10 Mitch Want whose trade mark "shimmy" and handoff, carved his way to the try line, leaving scrum half, Lloyd Richardson to add the extras.
Yatton were forced to make a change through injury, but soon after, the insurpressable Yatton scrum half Lloyd Richardson sniped from the base of a ruck to go over the try line and with his successful conversion to follow, Yatton were ten points ahead. With half time approaching, Yatton were penalised for "hands in the ruck" with Quins taking full advantage with the resultant penalty kick.
Yatton now had the advantage of the slope, but the greasy ball leads to handling mistakes by both sides. The game is fiercely contested in the midfield, but Quins had the benefit of a dubious offside decision that enabled them to kick for the top corner and go for a catch and drive. Dogged defence enabled Yatton to clear their line, but again Quins regrouped and progressed deep into Yatton's half. It was from a stolen line out ball, Quin's forwards rumbled over for another unconverted try. With the score level, it was the athleticism of Yatton replacement centre Jack Edwards who charged down a defensive kick by Quins and grounded the ball over the line and then he added the extras.
Yatton were now under extreme pressure from Quins and forced to concede a penalty. Quins opt to kick to the corner but in the resultant lineout and scrummage, Yatton determinedly clear their line and make headway into the Quins half, where Pete Quinn carves a path to the try line for an unconverted try.
The game ebb and flowed, but with the final whistle looming, Quins were determined not to finish the game empty handed. They are awarded a penalty for Yatton not scrummaging straight. Quin's choose to re scrummage, winning the ball and go over for a try giving them two valuable loosing bonus points..... a fair reward for a game played in excellent spirit by two evenly matched teams.