MALONE 29 BELFAST HARLEQUINS 5
Malone cruised to a five try win over local rivals Belfast Harlequins at Gibson Park in the opening round of the SONI Ulster Premiership.
There was never much doubt who was going to win this city derby in Division Two of the league though after this early season hit-out, which was played in glorious sunshine, it would seem unlikely that things will be just so one-sided when the sides meet later in the AIL.
Malone, who always looked sharper, led 24-0 at half-time. It had been all Malone when home side scrum-half Shane Kelly opened the scoring after 13 minutes though Nathan Brown missed the extras.
Kelly was also instrumental in helping to set up hooker Dave Cave’s 20th minute try which again went unconverted before the lively scrum-half got his second after a typically sniping run.
This time Brown converted and and did so again when full-back Andy Bryans crossed the Quins line in first half injury time.
The second half was a quieter affair scoring wise, as multiple subs rolled on and of, though number eight Michael Shiels drove over just before the hour mark for the home side’s fifth touchdown though Rory Campbell was then wide with the conversion.
To their credit, Quins kept battling and Ben Sloan was awarded a controversial looking score five minutes later though he couldn’t convert his own effort. Quins’ full-back Mark Glover then prevented what would have been a glorious length of the field score by tackling Campbell into touch.
Malone: A Bryans, J McMurty, M Barker, M McCrea, D Irvine, N Brown, S Kelly; L Barlow, D Cave, P Eadie, J Davidson, J McAlister, P Lucas, N Alcorn (capt), M Shiels
Replacements: D Fitzpatrick, M Porter, B McDonnell, D Kerr, R Campbell
Belfast Harlequins: M Glover, P Dunlop, B Sloan, P McVitty, A Pollock, T Emerson, M Corry; O McCollum, S Weir, M McGrath, J Andress, D Annett (capt), C Bennison, J Siri, D Marshall
Replacements: C Sargison, J Harrison, R Kirkwood, I Anderson, M Wylie
Referee: O Quinn