Bears Clawed Back By Grizzly Quins

A nerve jangling, jaw dropping, pulsating final four minutes brought the home crowd to fever pitch, many checking the location of the nearest defibrillator, as Quins completed an escape act that Houdini would have struggled to match.

With the clock in the red those that had the courage to watch could only do so peering through their fingers, yet Ellie Green was as cool as the vegetable whose colour matched her surname, nailing a conversion to earn Quins what had looked twelve minutes earlier a highly improbable outcome.

Harlequins Ladies v Bristol Bears kicked off at 5.30pm at Twickenham Stoop, and as the low autumn sun began to set in West London, the dewy grass and cool air provided the perfect habitat for the Bears to come out to play

Not normally migratory creatures, the trip up the M4 may well have taken them out of their comfort zone, but a blistering start saw them rack up 26 points, including four tries, a glorious individual effort from Elinor Snowsill being the pick of the bunch, the holders of the Wales number 10 jersey have sorcery in their DNA thats for sure.

It was a first half during which Quins never really got going, they committed far too many errors, and when you add some inconsistent refereeing into the equation, the home side were left with a mountain to climb, as they went in to the half time break nineteen points in arrears.

The second half was a different story with Quins dominating territory and possession, the Bears hadn’t exactly gone into hibernation but they were certainly nursing sore heads as wave after wave of attacks reigned upon them.

Leah Lyons & Shaunagh Brown smashed around the breakdown like a pair of mad Bulls, and on the 46th minute Davina Catlin crashed over for a try to narrow the deficit to 12-26.

With 75 minutes on the clock a fourteen point gap looked unreachable, but not for this bunch, and the Ellie Green show was about to start.

She scored a wonderful try on 76 minutes which she duly converted to make the score 19-26.

Bristol restarted and time was up, but with the ball alive Quins had one more shot, after several phases Lucy Packer went over, and cucumber cool Ellie slotted the conversion to give Quins a share of the spoils, as the stoop crowd gave a collective roar, and checked their pulse rates.

The two points for the draw, plus a try scoring bonus point, could prove to be vital come the spring when qualification for the semi finals is at stake.

There were plenty of positives, the sign of a good side is one that grinds out a result when playing not particularly well, also the senior players were extremely vocal and held it all together as the new partnerships and combinations bed in, which enevitably takes time.

Also Quins did not concede a single point from the thirty eighth minute onwards.

This squad will never give up and never give in, and when everything clicks, then we will all be in for a real treat.

I’ve never had to queue to get out of a women’s rugby match before, Saturday at the Stoop may have ended in a draw, but there was one convincing winner, the women’s game itself.


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