Harlequins took an early lead with a couple of break-away tries finding their way though a Shire Hall back line that hadn’t played together before. Despite this early setback Shire fought back with a determined period of sustained pressure, camping in the opposition half.
It soon became apparent that the Shire pack was more than a match for the ‘quins and had the upper hand in forward play. Tim Judge opened the Shire scoring with a classic pushover try.
After the restart and yet more time in the opposition half, Shire again succumbed to the ‘quins pace in the backs and conceded another try. This was soon established as the pattern of the game. Sustained Shire pressure would be beaten back with a ‘quins breaking though the line at pace.
In the last 20 minutes, despite the blows of the first half, the Shire team showed great fortitude and scored a succession of tries, included a 1 yard dash by the pacey Neil Evans, a ‘through the hands – winger finish’ from Ravi Dhillon and a dancing fly half series of side-steps from Andy Dodson. Unfortunately this could not bring them back into touch with the ‘quins and at full-time the score was Shire Hall 20 – Oxford Harlequins III 31.
Shire Hall tries:
Man of the Match: